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Scream VI (Film Review)

2 min read

The fact that in 2023 we have a new film is nothing short of impressive given it's a franchise that started by making fun of the genre and calling out the tropes. Despite franchise creator Kevin Williamson moving on to new projects and original director Wes Craven no longer being with us, there was a lot to like in last year's Scream which brought the legacy characters back with some interesting new ones.

This time around, directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Oplin relocate the action to New York City, pitting the survivors of the previous film (sans-Neve Campbell) against a legacy obsessed killer who's rampage seems unstoppable.

The film opens promisingly enough with a fun reversal style kill that appears to promise a new formula to the franchise, but like so many follows ups to legacy sequels it appears to have no ideas. As engaging as , , and are, the new characters simply aren't up to par and appear to be nothing more than canon fodder.

We get the return of Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed but even with the return of there's a feeling that this entry wants to play it much safer than the one before. It's a shame because some of the set pieces are fun, the opening is great, the much publicised shot gun in the bodega, the train sequence but it all feels like it's running in circles.

It's also much too long. “It's always bigger” Brown's savvy Mindy proclaims “the action is bigger, the kills” but nothing amounts to anything note worthy. Legacy hangs over this far too much and there's nothing like the emotional warmth that Neve Campbell brought to the previous five films. This time it really feels like a movie for the sake of a movie, going on ground we already crossed in the last film but with none of the daring nature.

There's no denying the joy of the “core four”. Jenna Ortega continues to dominate everything she's in, while Barrera is able to convey a life of pain with the simplest expressions. It's often down to Brown and Gooding to provide big laughs, and they do that so well but the emotional heart of the film is lacking.

It's not that there isn't gas left in the tank of the franchise, there could definitely be more done exploring how violence breeds violence but this film feels so beholden to what came before that the twists don't feel so shocking, the reveals come at a snails pace and even some gnarly deaths can't help the feeling that the team behind this weren't really feeling it. It's unlikely to become anyone's favourite scary movie.

 releases in UK cinemas on March 9th, 2023.