Review: Scream VI


Okay, has anyone really commented on the fact that the title for Scream VI should be stylized like Screa/VI? I mean, they’re going for the sixth roman numeral VI, so to make it look like an “M” you need to have a / on the side of it to make it work. But then when you actually write out the logo as Screa/VI it just looks hideous and ugly and I want to die. No one else is going to harp on that ugly ass design decision?

Sorry, that was just sitting with me the entire time I was watching this movie. That and I was wondering how Ghostface keeps on getting everyone’s numbers all the time. It made sense in the original movie since it was in the 90s and everyone knew each other’s number, but now it just seems weird how they apparently know this despite the lack of phonebooks. I ask these questions not because I’m being pedantic and poking fun at the movie, but because honestly there’s not much new to talk about with Scream VI that wasn’t already said last year. It’s the last film again, but now it’s familiar. Make of that what you will.

Scream VI | Official Trailer (2023 Movie)

Scream VI
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Release Date: March 10, 2023 (Theatrical)
Rating: R

Set one year after the events of the last film, the surviving teens of Woodsboro have decided to move to New York City to attend university. They’re all trying to process the events of the last film in different ways, such as Sam (Melissa Barrera) going to therapy and becoming extremely overprotective of her younger sister, Tara (Jenna Ortega), who is trying to do whatever she can do distract herself from what happened during the last string of killings. Shock of all shocks, Ghostface makes an appearance in the Big Apple and the survivors of the last film, as well as a crew of new potential victims and some other legacy characters, need to figure out who the new Ghostface is and stop them, especially since they seem to have access to all of the weapons, costumes, and items from all of the previous killings.

While the focus of the film is the state of franchises, you would think that Scream VI would try and go in a different direction given the beginning of the film. In the intro, several film students who are obsessed with the killings are going to try and “finish the film” that was prioritized by the last entry’s killer, but the new Ghostface openly says that they don’t care about movies. Personally, I thought that the film was going to try and subvert expectations and not have any meta-commentary on the state of horror movies, but rather just have a serial killer killing for the sake of it. It would have been an interesting subversion of the series, but no, it turns into an examination of horror franchises, something that feels weak and tenuous at best.

By this point, the commentary that really defines the series just seems to be surface-level, with the returning Meeks twins from the last film continuing their regurgitation of horror tropes. While it was cute when they did it in the last film, here it feels forced and doesn’t have as much charm. In fact, a lot of the film is lacking in charm and just seems like a very typical slasher film. The kills are fine, the gore is fine, it’s just fine. For a series that usually is a lot smarter and more well put together compared to a lot of its contemporaries, fine is disappointing.

Review: Scream VI

Copyright: Paramount Pictures

I did like some tiny little references and homages to other horror films. I don’t know if this is intentional or not, but when I heard that the film was going to take place in Manhattan, my mind instantly went to Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. But what I was more interested in was just knowing how much of the film actually took place in New York since Jason Takes Manhattan, despite being set in New York, was barely filmed there and was mostly filmed in Vancouver. The same is true here since basically all of Scream VI was filmed in Montreal. There were some other touches here and there, but I guess you can say I was more interested in everything else about the movie than the movie itself.

Even the reveal of Ghostface’s identity isn’t really all that interesting. Some very heavy-handed clues are dropped about halfway into the movie and made guessing their identity a foregone conclusion. Usually, the Scream movies pride themselves on also being mysteries where the characters try to figure out who among them is actually the killer. Sometimes it’s well executed, like in Scream IV, and other times it’s not. This is one of those other times. It’s an entertaining climax, one that gives Sam a nice character beat and adds interesting wrinkles to her character, and gives us the best kill of the movie, but the film ends on a somewhat weak note.

That’s the best way to describe Scream VI: somewhat weak. It was written and released within a year and you can tell that some of its ideas seemed rushed and slapdash. The meta-commentary is obligatory and doesn’t really say anything, the mystery is okay, and the action and gore are serviceable. It’s completely unremarkable and only ended up leaving me mildly entertained. If Scream VI wants to talk about horror franchises, then it’s doing a great job of representing a horror franchise that needs to take a break.

By the way, I’m calling it now. When Scream VII releases next year, it’s going to be a commentary on trilogies. I just want this in writing so I can say I called it a year from now.




Scream VI has a lot of what made the last film enjoyable, but without the freshness and with a more contrived premise and execution, it feels very unremarkable in comparison.

Jesse Lab
The strange one. The one born and raised in New Jersey. The one who raves about anime. The one who will go to bat for DC Comics, animation, and every kind of dog. The one who is more than a tad bit odd. The Features Editor.