top of page

'Scream VI' A Review *SPOILER FREE*

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

After only a little over a year later, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet return with their follow up to Scream (2022), ‘Scream VI’, and no holds are barred. Ghostface is back and he is meaner than ever with intent to kill the survivors of the last film and anyone who gets in his way.

‘Scream VI’ unabashedly embraces that it is part of a franchise and greatly rewards those who have invested in it while still exploring new ideas and breaking new ground. While the ‘Scream’ franchise has always been a meta-analysis of horror film tropes and a critique of the genre, with every sequel it becomes a more meta-analysis of its own legacy.

‘Scream VI’ is the most suspenseful in the series, an impressive feat, while retaining its signature humor and wit. The script is exceptionally sharp, pun intended. This iteration of Ghostface is the most violent in arguably the scariest ‘Scream’ film yet.

The ensemble is fantastic and all of the returning cast have truly embraced their roles and further fleshed out their characters. Jenna Ortega continues to prove why she’s Gen Z’s golden girl and Hayden Panettiere gives it her all reprising her role as Kirby Reed for the perfect comeback story. The new cast, even with some limited characterization, give enthusiastic and natural performances. The chemistry between the entire cast is palpable.

Randy Meeks utters the line, “The past is not at rest” in 'Scream 3' and that truly is a throughline for these films. All actions from the past have consequences in the present. I mentioned in my Scream (2022) review that Ghostface acts as a "literal representation of a metaphorical ghost" and that continues to be a motif in ‘Scream VI.’

The 'Scream' films have never been run-of-the-mill slasher films. Deaths frequently have an impact narratively and emotionally. ‘Scream VI’ demonstrates how the survivors of past films, particularly the core four, cope in various ways with the trauma they've experienced and continue to experience.

Many slasher films are orchestrated around creative kills and the characters are more like props. 'Scream' has always differed in that regard as story and character come first. The deaths, while often creative and even brutal, are built up to in well-constructed dramatic sequences. Even characters that aren’t around long demonstrate shades of a dynamic character in these scenes. There is no slasher franchise in which I not only like but also feel a sense of loss for so many of the victims.

‘Scream VI’ also addresses some topical issues like how conspiracy theories thrive, the nefariousness of those who perpetrate them, and the fickleness of those who believe them.

The soundtrack for the ‘Scream’ films might be one of its most underappreciated aspects despite each one having standout songs- most notably the series staple ‘Red Right Hand’ by Nick Cave and The Bad Seed, which has been featured in all the films except ‘Scream 4.’ Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park fame along with Demi Lovato both have exceptional original songs for ‘Scream VI.’

Scream VI’ is more than a perfect film for fans of the franchise. Even as just a film itself, it is a surprisingly poignant examination of grief and trauma with great set pieces, brutal kills, and a Hitchcockian crafting of tension.

NOTE: I have screened both the regular and 3D versions of this film. Even though I can not typically see 3-D because of my lazy eye, there were several moments in this film where I could see it quite vividly and there was even a scene where I felt the sense of space. Kudos to the filmmakers on that.


Be sure to explore The Brown Deer Public Library and its offerings of horror franchises available for check out.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page