Picture this, you’re on a first date with someone you met online. You’re sitting at the bar, anxiously waiting, wondering if you’re being stood up. Suddenly, your phone rings. You jump at the piercing ringtone but feel relieved when you see it’s your date calling.
“Oh good, he hasn’t forgotten about me” you think just before saying “hello…”
He tells you he’s lost, so you walk outside the safe and crowded restaurant to wave down a complete stranger. He says he sees you and that he’s walking towards you. But you don’t see him. So, you hesitantly walk forward—searching for your mystery man. Before you know it, you’re standing in the center of a dark alley way. The voice on the phone shifts from endearing to sinister.
*Warning: Spoilers ahead for Scream 6.
The first scream
If you’re a fan of the Scream franchise, you know the rules by now—never answer the phone. I take this so seriously that I let all my calls go to voicemail, and I definitely don’t venture into dark alleys looking for trouble. These horror tropes all come together in the opening scene of Scream 6, where we meet Laura, portrayed by the talented Samara Weaving (Ready or Not).
Laura is a Film Studies professor who delves into the history of horror movies, helping her students understand how these films reflect the fears of society during their respective eras. Despite her knowledge, Laura falls victim to classic horror movie mistakes and becomes the first gruesome death at the hands of Ghostface.
Following Wes Craven’s first Scream movie in 1996, the opening scene has been pivotal in setting the tone for the franchise. The Scream 6 opening minutes are nothing short of brilliant and stand as one of the best openers yet. Directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin expertly follow in Craven’s iconic footsteps.
The “Core Four” of Scream 6
We reunite with Sam (Melissa Barrera) in the bustling city of New York, where she now resides with her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega). Tara is in college alongside her “Core Four” companions, Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown). Despite their harrowing past, the group appears to be doing relatively well. Sam is actively seeking therapy, Tara is striving for a normal college lifestyle, and Chad and Mindy are attempting to move forward in the big apple.
As the “Core Four” navigate their new normal, they’re joined by a couple of fresh faces. Quinn Bailey portrays Liana Liberato, Sam’s friend and roommate, while Jack Champion plays Ethan, a fellow friend and classmate. The film pays homage to the earlier installments of the franchise, and fans will appreciate the return of characters such as Scream 4 fan favorite, Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), a legacy Scream character. However, one notable absence is Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), the iconic Final Girl. She is only briefly mentioned in the film.
Shadows of the past
The “Core Four” think they left the horrors of Woodsboro behind, but a dark and sinister presence followed them to their new lives in the city. The air thickens with tension as bodies pile up one after another, leaving a gruesome trail of death and destruction.
The once safe haven of the city has become a deadly trap, and the group soon discovers that the twisted mind behind the heinous crimes is none other than Ghostface. The threat of imminent danger grows stronger with each passing moment, and the group realizes they must flee for their lives. But as they race to escape Ghostface’s grasp, the dark secrets and twisted motives behind the killings begin to unravel. This shatters their fragile sense of security, leaving them with the realization they’re no longer able to trust anyone, not even those closest to them.
Scream stands the test of time because of its ability to evolve. In the 90s, Scream was a breath of fresh air, satirizing the horror genre and providing a new take on the slasher movie. Now, more than two decades later, the franchise has adapted to the modern era.
The Scream franchise has always been a clever blend of horror and mockery, with a tongue-in-cheek approach to the classic horror tropes. In the latest installments, Mindy emerges as the voice of this self-awareness, using monologues to explain the rules of horror to the audience. She offers insights into the progression of the genre, pointing out that each movie tends to be more gruesome than the last and absolutely no one is safe.
Scream 6 takes the gore factor to a whole new level. The body count is higher than ever before, and the kills are more graphic and intense than anything we’ve seen so far. It’s a true testament to the remarkable talent of the special effects teams, who work tirelessly to create practical effects that are both realistic and downright horrifying.
Scream 6 and the city that never sleeps
Scream 6 was heavily promoted as a movie set in New York City, but it does not live up to its billing. The city does not play as significant a role as expected. Nonetheless, there is one scene in the film that stands out in a bone-chilling way, the subway scene, which takes place around Halloween.
The special effects and lighting team deserve tremendous credit for creating an incredibly eerie subway atmosphere. The subtle nods to various horror icons lurk in the background, making it an easter egg hunt for horror aficionados. With the subway’s flickering lights and the never-ending anticipation of who or what will appear on the screen, the scene sends shivers down your spine. Although it could have taken place in any city with a train system, the subway scene is unquestionably the standout moment in the film.
Fade to black
In this latest installment, Ghostface transforms into a more malevolent and supernatural figure, more terrifying than ever before. The masked killer takes to the streets of New York City, and our fearless group is pushed to their limits, battered and bruised but ultimately undefeated. From the pulse-pounding opening scene to the heart-stopping final showdowns, Scream 6 firmly cements its place at the very top of my Scream movie list.
Scream 6 holds onto the essence of what makes the earlier movies so great. The film remains a heartfelt tribute to horror fans, and an ode to early day slashers. It delivers jump scares, gore, and tense moments to keep viewers engaged. Moreover, it cleverly subverts all expectations by introducing unexpected plot twists and turns, keeping viewers guessing right up until the gripping finale.
As the credits fade to black, fans can breathe a sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that the Scream franchise is reawakened and thriving.