Continuing from Scream (2022), aka Scream 5, we are reintroduced to the survivors from the last time Ghostface appeared. Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad (Mason Gooding) have all decided to finally say goodbye to Woodsboro and start a new life in New York City. While living in the city begins positively, Sam has regular appointments with a counsellor. As you may expect, it’s not long until the new Ghostface appears, murdering people within the city streets.
But this time, there’s something different about this Ghostface, and it seems to be wearing an old, worn-out face mask. Sam isn’t just being targeted; she’s also a prime suspect in the new brutal killings. Now, Sam and her friends must do everything possible to discover why a Ghostface has resurfaced. More importantly, who is the masked killer or perhaps again, is there more than one? Familiar faces from the past also reappear, including Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), who can’t help but get invested and curious about the reappearance of Ghostface.
As a Scream fan personally, I’m excited to say this film successfully raises the bar and introduces new and improved aspects that are exciting and fun. Firstly, the setting of New York City instead of Woodsboro is perfect for a Scream film. Right from the opening (which goes off with a bang), I loved the engaging location of New York City. Violence and gore levels are also raised to a new level, and some kills are intensely gruesome and unexpected. While this is the first time a Scream film doesn’t feature actress Neve Campbell, I found the cast who do appear again carried the film wonderfully. The old-looking Ghostface is also a welcomed change that only adds mystery for audiences.
As for the certain side characters that are introduced, most are also great. Yet I must confess that some side characters we follow here seem poorly presented and vague, and I found it challenging to grasp who they really were. While reveals in a Scream film are always fun, only some things surrounding them this time round will make sense, particularly the finer details. I found myself wanting to understand better. While audiences will witness tense moments in the plot and violent kills, the storyline and its path feel more familiar than in previous films. The third act also felt like filmmakers wanted to play it safe and not upset the fans instead of pushing the boundaries or hitting new major heights.
Overall, the Scream franchise continues to do what its always done best- provide entertainment and brainless fun with many tense moments and unpredictable reveals. The opening starts with a bang; it’s all filled with surprises. Big reveals here are a little hard to swallow, making this not quite a cut above the rest, but it’s still entertaining regardless of its flaws. As a sixth instalment, I’m excited that the film introduced a new, exciting setting and location. Kills and violence also go up a notch, a positive aspect of the latest instalment. However, when it comes to its story, as the end credits appeared, I felt the entire film was either slightly repetitive, or it was played safely for the sake of pleasing fans. There are also minor plot details that I needed clarification on, and that seemed unclear. Let’s face it- this is the kind of slasher in which finer plot aspects will only phase some audience members like myself.
11th March 2023
Written by Peter Walkden
Peter Walkden Attending the Queensland Preview Event thanks to Paramount Pictures