Scream VI review: Bright knives, big city

When horror ventures into the heart of New York City, it often signals a descent into mediocrity, as seen in infamous examples like Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Yet, amidst the urban sprawl, there’s a glimmer of promise in Scream VI, which initially delivers a few spine-tingling moments before succumbing to generic slasher tropes.

In a departure from the norm, the film opens with a tense scene featuring Samara Weaving, known for her role in Ready or Not, as she navigates a seemingly innocuous Tinder date. The familiar phone call from the killer leads her into a dark alley, where the tension mounts despite the crowded surroundings. However, the twist comes swiftly when her date, portrayed by Tony Revolori of The Grand Budapest Hotel fame, is unmasked as the killer himself.

This deviation from the usual Scream formula hints at a potentially refreshing take on the genre, where the identity of the killer is known from the outset. Yet, as the film progresses, it veers back into familiar territory, trading innovation for predictable slasher thrills.

Scream 6

Scream VI begins with a bang, delivering a shocking double death that sets the stage for heightened expectations. However, the film ultimately falls short, failing to live up to the promise of its predecessor’s reboot. Neve Campbell’s absence is keenly felt as the plot meanders through a cast of returning characters and new additions, including Jenna Ortega’s Tara and Melissa Barrera’s Sam.

As the body count rises, the film becomes more akin to a soap opera than a horror movie, with each scene punctuated by splattery violence and bursts of therapy-speak. Despite the gritty urban setting of New York City, the film’s environment feels strangely detached, reminiscent of a sitcom rather than a suspenseful thriller.

While Scream VI attempts to explore themes of toxic fandom and cancel culture, it ultimately lacks depth, content to revel in its own cleverness without offering meaningful commentary. The final showdown takes place in a museum filled with artifacts from previous films, serving as a meta reflection of the franchise’s self-indulgent nature. In the end, Scream VI falls victim to its own narcissism, failing to resonate beyond its superficial homage to the horror genre.

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