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Scream VI
(2023) - Directed by Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Slasher / Thriller / Satire
“There's a darkness inside of me. It followed me here."

This is the second opening day movie I've ever been to. I have been an avid fan of the Scream series since I saw the first one, and when I heard about number 5 I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get to see it in the big screen. But I wasn't happy with the announcement that Scream 6 was coming out just a year after the last one. Most Scream movies take a few years to properly ferment for the next entry, like Toy Story. Yes, the third one was a weak glass of wine, but numbers 4 and 5 were fine and fruity with blood and meat, and I mean storytelling meat. So I thought to myself, These guys better have spent some serious time writing two Screams at once for this to match the mast one, otherwise Scream will finally succumb to "sequelitis," which is my word for movie series that don't put effort into the sequels.

So what is my final verdict?

After the traumatizing events of the last film, Samantha Carpenter has moved to New York with her sister Tara. But she's become paranoid and overprotective of her little sister, especially now that rumors have surfaced that Sam orchestrated the framing of the last killer and (somehow) even Billy Loomis, as if a child could do that at that age. But people love rumors, especially Ghostface. This Ghostface believes the rumors to be true, and is out to deal justice with a phone call and a kitchen knife. With the return of Kirby Reed from Scream 4 as an FBI agent, and another appearance by controversial journalist Gale Weathers, the team uncovers darker secrets about the Ghostface fanhood that all means one terrible thing: Stab has evolved. It's not a movie anymore, it's a franchise. And that means the danger's worse.

Scream IV acts as a companion piece to Scream 2 in some ways, notably comparing our new movie specialist to Randy yet again with some seriously meta commentary on how Stab evolves. And that meta commentary helps make the thrills all the more tense as constant fan-theories flood the brain over who's the killer and who's getting killed. The characters themselves didn't have a lot of development besides being fan-theory fodder, so a great weakness on this point is the lack therein. For some characters, however, the lack makes things more interesting, as too much development could work for or against the theories. Still, it's quite noticeable. However, the writing makes up for this by making sure there are enough interesting events and revelations to match the twist. The movie shoves more twists in your face than a rock 'n' roll album, and the story helps make them worthwhile, especially since its commenting on its own franchise as a whole, as opposed to my theory of providing commentary on spinoffs.

As for the violence and tension, all that is much more in your face than all the previous entries. The build up is occasionally predictable, but this is Scream we're talking about. The build up is all in the dialogue, and that dialogue is more than satisfactory. When the killings come, they have both fear and tension cranked up as high as the franchise can possible achieve at this point. Thankfully, the movie is more focused on showing Ghostface's fear factor than flaunting blood and guts. But you can only get this kind of nostalgia if you've seen all the Scream's, because notalgia is one of the leading themes of this movie.

I'd say that this is yet another successful Scream that Wes Craven would be proud of. However, because the movie is still acting traditional, once again making Gale Weathers a backstabber with a redemption subplot (no pun intended), the originality comes in parts. Thankfully, with the heavy theme delivery of nostalgia and paranoia, the movie lives up to the legacy. Although Scream 5 didn't quite top the first, this sequel topped the second. This is highly recommended for slasher fans who wants something more original.

= 92/100.

Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin's Scores

Scream: 96
Scream VI: 92

Needs 1 more for average.