Scream VI

Scream VI ★½

“I got it wrong again. Fuck this franchise!“

Yep, it’s getting to that point.

My enthusiasm for this franchise (as Mindy’s obligatory self-referential monologue so keenly identifies this film as part of) was badly (though not surprisingly) shaken by the misfire that was Scream V. But I found my hope revived by the strongly positive reception to this latest instalment. More fool me. 

What are you guys smoking? This is even worse than its predecessor. What exactly works in this movie? To be fair, I can identify some pluses. Jenna Ortega proves herself to be a pretty competent actor (the rest of this cast sets one hell of a low bar to clear, though, with exception of Jasmin Savoy-Brown). And the film has upped the brutality of the kill scenes. Some of those hit with real visceral impact.

But why are we watching at this point? Despite the superficial updating, I hesitate to even call this a riff on the source concept. It’s an abject slave to the patented Scream MO. Everything else is skin deep and, worse, now the plot doesn’t even make sense. Hate on the original Screams all you want, but at least the mystery plots held up. The reveal for this one is simply beyond ludicrous. 

Meanwhile, Melissa Barrera once again substitutes a blank pouting mug for any legitimate screen presence. Dermot Mulroney and Hayden Panettiere are about as convincing as hard bitten cops as two breakfast television hosts would be. And more egregiously than ever, Gail Weathers is proven to be a scheming, immoral asshole by past behaviour (this time she literally publishes a book blaming Barrera’s character for the murders, apparently) only to then act in an inexplicably inconsistent fashion for the rest of the film. 

When Mindy makes the earth shattering claim that they are living through a sequel to the requel and are now a (dun dun dunnn!) FRANCHISE, I nearly vomited my plane meal all over the tray wedged uncomfortably into my midriff as I joylessly tried to process movie and meal at the same time, both indigestible in any case.

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