SCREAM VI (2023)

This crass and confusing sequel does not need to exist. And, were it not for the fact that it’s guaranteed to triple its investment, it should not have been made. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have been reunited with writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick from Scream V (2022).

There’s an adage in commercial cinema that audiences need to know in the first twenty minutes: “It’s about a _____ who wants to ______.” This adage does not apply here, neither in the first twenty minutes, nor the entire film. There are way, way too many characters to count, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that we don’t know or care about anyone’s name, relationship, desire, or even location. It’s technically set in New York, but it doesn’t feel any different from Woodsboro.

Essentially, sisters Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) have survived Scream V (2022), having fled to New York City. But, oh no, Ghostface has followed them to the Big Apple: at least one copycat killer is trying to finish the job. Cue lots of stabbing and lots of guessing.

At its best, there are some interesting moments that touch on the psychological complexities that come from enjoying the thrill of murder, especially when enacted in revenge. As a whodunnit, it’s too ridiculous to solve (even by Scream standards). Terrible.

Playing in cinemas in the UK from 9 March 2023.

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