Scream VI: ‘We’re all suspects’

Ghostface takes a stab at Manhattan in the sixth installment of the slasher series



Sam and Tara Carpenter stand in front of an ambulance on the streets of New York

Piper Sorenson, Staff Reporter

The survivors of the previous “Scream” murders are back, trading in their small town of Woodsboro for New York City. But before breaking down the most recent movie, let’s go back to where it all began: Woodsboro, California, 1996.

Director Wes Craven reinvented the genre of slasher horror with the original “Scream”. The premise was simple enough- a masked killer terrorizing suburban middle-class teens. But what made it stand out from other films in the genre? 

Self awareness. In most movies, characters act like they’ve never seen any kind of scary movie or even avoid the topic altogether. But ever since the “Scream” 1996 opening scene with Drew Barrymore foolishly answering the phone while home alone and talking horror flicks with her soon-to-be killer, the franchise has been self-aware and keenly sentient. Each Ghostface killer was motivated partly by the in-universe movie series “Stab,” set in Woodsboro.

Mixing the slasher genre with a classic whodunit, each “Scream” is more cerebral than the mindless slashers that came before but less pretentious than stylish thrillers.

Instead of letting the audience wonder which cliche will play out, they talk about them openly. Fast forward to the most recent installment “Scream IV”, and there’s still self-awareness steeped in every part of the movies. 

The surviving teenagers from the previous “Scream” start the movie off strong: Main character Samantha Carpenter and her younger half-sister Tara, along with twin siblings Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin, played by Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy-Brown, respectively.

Following the murders of the previous movie, the group now dubbed the “Core Four,” move across the country. With Tara trying to break free of her trauma and enjoy her college experience, Sam is doing her best to keep Tara safe. 

But one thing is clear: no one can be trusted. Horror buff Mindy says it best in her speech urging everyone to be cautious of one another, even angling one at her new girlfriend: “Never trust the love interest.”

Instead of the previous setting, the Big Apple’s backdrop adds city grit into plenty of scenes. In the teaser trailer alone, a suspenseful chase leads Tara and Sam into a bodega on a street corner where they have to use shattered glass and aisles of chips to escape the killer’s gaze. 

 Also in the trailer, Mindy finds herself on a harrowing subway ride full of partygoers in full Ghostface attire – but one of the passengers isn’t playing dress-up. 

“Scream VI” may upset longtime fans by not bringing every beloved character back, namely Neve Campell as iconic final girl Sidney Prescott, but it brings enough new flair to the franchise that the loss isn’t unbearably detrimental. 

The cast still packs a punch, with previous characters such as reporter Gale Weathers, played by Courtney Cox, and young special agent Kirby Reed, played by Hayden Panettiere, not to mention newer stars Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega. 

Something important to note is that “Scream VI” is one of the goriest installments of the series yet, with stabbings and shootings galore. If you’re someone who isn’t good with horror, you may find yourself hiding your face in your popcorn a little too often. 

Overall, the movie was enjoyable and well worth the sleepless night you’ll endure after the midnight screening. Are you ready to scream?