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June 18, 2023

Taking a meta stab at history with Scream 6

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Scream 6 ☆☆

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Starring: Courteney Cox, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown


lasher flicks are great because you will always know what you are getting. 80% of the cast is definitely going to die in the most gruesome ways, and that’s okay, because that’s literally why anyone watches the slasher genre: the plentiful, bloody murders.

The Scream franchise, imagined into life by director Wes Craven, brought back the teen thriller in a big way in the ‘90s. At this point we had older films and their sequels to entertain us, but none starring the stars of the time. To be fair, the Scream franchise is what made Neve Campbell a star, but what it actually did was give ‘permission’ to mainstream heartthrobs to dip their toes into the gore and slasher genres.

What followed were three Scream sequels starring Campbell in the lead, and multiple other movies starring the likes of Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt – your garden variety clean-cut, beautiful young actors – in similar features.

If you’re wondering if a senior citizen wrote this review based on the above wording, you aren’t too far off. The new Scream movies make me feel old, and like I just cannot anymore.

The Scream reboot in 2011 brought with it Stab, the movie-within-a-movie, parroting the events of the original Scream, and because everyone drops off like it’s no thing in those movies, obviously there are Stabs 1, 2, 3, and so on.

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The we have last year’s Scream 5, where we met the next gen of psychopathic film students and Ghostfaces.

This one also starts with a Stab, and while as a standalone film Scream 5 is great, and the references the directors bring are fresh, this is where we should draw a line and call it a day. Because now there is a Scream 6, and it’s not that the films are bad, they are just weaving a web of in-jokes, references, meta-references, so complicated, that even the most diligent fan – myself included – might just stop watching now.

Scream 6, again, is a good standalone film. If you never watched the Sidney Prescott era Screams, you might even really appreciate what happens in the sixth instalment. If you did watch all the earlier movies, you will appreciate the directors’ thorough homage to Craven. But then you’ll be bored by the clever self-reference and maybe want to turn the movie off and watch something light, like Tales From The Crypt instead.

Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only *** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection

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