Jenna Ortega in ‘Gorriest’ and ‘Most Meta Entry Yet’ – The Hollywood Reporter
Given that the truly super-clever description of the 1996 original is now curdled with repetitions, Scream The franchise has proven surprisingly solid. By now, the formula is as familiar as the clichéd horror movies that make fun of it. Between Ghostface’s brutal murders, characters purposely refer to metaphors that are employed or turned on their head, providing expert commentary that the audience can now write their own.
and after, Sixth scream It’s likely to prove as popular as most of its predecessors, proving that if you give people what they want — that is, lots and lots of bloody stabbings with a bit of satire — they’ll come.
It’s not exactly developed anymore.
This edition, bearing a Roman number in its title for the first time, combines the four surviving main characters from its immediate predecessor. And just to spare us the work of coming up with a nickname for them, one of them provided it himself, naming the group the “Core Four”. They consist of Sam (Melissa Barrera), the illegitimate daughter of Billy Loomis, the series’ number one killer; Her half-sister, Tara (Gina Ortega), whose star has recently risen thanks to her high-profile comedic role as the title character in Netflix’s Wednesday); Mindy (Jasmine Savoy-Brown), the most privilege-conscious member of the group; and her twin brother, Chad (Mason Gooding).
Shortly after the horrific events of the last movie, the quartet moved to New York City, although you’d think they’d know better because they’ve undoubtedly seen Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. Maybe they thought they were safe because Sixth scream It was shot entirely in Montreal, with no effort made to make it look anything remotely like the Big Apple. (Sorry, putting up some fake street and subway signs just doesn’t cut it these days.)
Spoiler alert: they quickly confuse him with Ghostface again, though he looks somewhat worse for wear, wearing an obvious mask of aging that suggests the 27 years of chops are taking their toll. Directors and screenwriters, all veterans of the past year Scream, even before this time. This movie is the longest in the series and seems to have the deadliest and most frequent killings.
What matters for innovation in the series is Ghostface using a shotgun to shoot one of his victims, which shows just how low the stakes for originality are. Although considering how many of his victims managed to survive multiple stab wounds to vital organs, it would make you think that what he really needed was a good knife sharpener.
As is typical of the series, this version brings back several veteran characters, including Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers, who has a confrontation with Ghostface that proves one of the highlights of the film, and Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby Read, who is now an FBI agent. Their appearance drew huge applause from the audience at the screening I attended, who clearly have a soft spot for any character who can survive more than one movie. Although, as an unqualified cameo from another vet demonstrates, death is no obstacle to returning appearances. The only insurmountable factor would be the failed contract negotiation, but the absence of franchise mainstay Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is treated respectfully here. One character commented, “She deserves to have a happy ending.” As in all of the previous films, Roger L. Jackson, his fearsome and seemingly ageless voice, provides the voice for Ghostface.
There are several new characters, including Chad’s genius roommate, Ethan (Champion Jack, symbol picture: water method); Sam and Tara’s “sex-positive” classmate, Quinn (Liana Liberato); their bulky, often shirtless neighbor (Josh Segara); and the detective (Dermot Mulroney) assigned to the Ghostface crimes who develops a very personal interest in tracking him down. Needless to say, any of them could actually turn into Ghostface, with the franchise’s slasher aspect becoming a major component.
The movie includes several elaborate set pieces, the best of which is a drawn-out sequence in a crowded subway car full of Halloween-celebrating knights who wear not only Ghostface masks, but masks from several other horror movie franchises as well. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olbin and Tyler Gillette expertly heighten the suspense of the scene, even if the results end up being less terrifying than simply riding the sixth train at rush hour. There’s also a great opening that employs the staple “woman gets an annoying phone call,” featuring budding scream queen Samara Weaving (ready or not) as a hapless college professor who teaches a course about, what else, slasher movies.
Admittedly, screenwriters James Vanderbilt and Jay Busiek deliver some witty dialogue Scream trade mark. When Sam is in a session with (Henry Czerny), she describes a past experience this way: “I stabbed him 22 times and slit his throat. Then I shot him in the head. But that’s not why I’m here.” And, as usual, we’re treated to meta-comments on things like “The Rules of the Ongoing Franchise,” “sequel callbacks,” and — my favorite — Jill’s denial when he’s accused of wanting to turn the group’s torments into a movie. “It’s all about true crime limited series these days,” he sniffs.
This is a franchise with its head off its own, though this sequel does include a plot element about a “shrine” to itself, located in an abandoned movie theater and featuring other paraphernalia and equipment from the films that preceded it. Don’t be surprised if a touring fair comes to your city soon.
finally, Sixth scream It delivers exactly what fans expect, and it’s the same. To her credit, she seems perfectly happy making fun of herself. “Who cares about movies?” Ghostface cried out at one point. “Fuck that privilege,” says one of his victims, presumably before it expires. What, are they trying to make movie critics obsolete?