Ryan Conde’s review published on Letterboxd:
By taking the franchise out of Woodsboro and setting it in none other than New York City, Scream VI definitely feels the most unique out of all the Scream movies so far, but it still delivers all of the goods that you would expect from one. As a film, Scream VI is nowhere near the best in this series. Honestly, I probably would put it as one of the weakest and is only slightly better than Scream 3, but in the end, I was still very entertained by this film. However, it has some big issues, and I'll get them out of the way first. I'll do my best as well not to spoil anything. Anyway, one of the film's biggest issues is its predictability and when you have a series of films that is hellbent on throwing as many twists and surprises, that's not a good thing. I can't say that all of the twists aren't surprising, but I could guess a lot of them including one that I already knew before going into the movie. Also, just the way that one of the killers is revealed I thought was very clumsily handled as it is just explained who the "twist killer" is in a matter of like ten seconds. If I go into any more detail than that, I would spoil the movie, but I just wasn't all that surprised by any of the twists and this also ties into another one of the biggest issues with Scream VI. It is way too reliant on the past. Even if this is the first Scream movie with Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott, this film still relies heavily on the past, and just when you think that this is the installment that will finally let the new stars of this franchise take over, we still gotta go back to square one with whatever legacy characters are there and follow through with the cliches that have been done many times before in past legacy sequels. Yes, the film does poke fun at the trends of modern-day film franchises, but it still does rely on a lot of the same tropes that have already become tired. Compared to 2022's Scream where the commentary on toxic fandom played well into the story, this movie's commentary on the trend of recent film franchises just doesn't tie much into the story and that was pretty disappointing. Lastly, and maybe this is just more of a personal preference, but I am 100% convinced that these Scream movies have now turned into live-action cartoons. Without spoiling anything, let's just say that the film makes you think that it will kill off some of the characters, but instead just pulls the rug out right at the end and reveal that they are ok. I get that this series is meant to be silly and not realistic, but it gets to a point where I am really starting to question how some of these characters, and even Ghostface are still alive after being stabbed and hit with so many different objects. All of these things as well as the film running a little too long in the third act contribute to why this is one of the weakest installments in the Scream franchise. Thankfully, even with a slightly longer running time, weak twists, too much reliance on the past, and the film almost essentially turning into a slasher cartoon, most of it is still pretty solid. The stuff that works in this film works really well. First off, the film has an amazing opening. Intense, brutal, suspenseful, and fantastically filmed and directed, it was such a great way to open the film. Speaking of filming and directing, the film boasts some great cinematography and some solid directing by the same two directors who also helmed the last Scream film. Humor-wise the film is also pretty funny. Not every joke gets a big laugh, but the ones that do are quite funny with some good delivery and some great lines. In terms of the kills and the gore, Scream VI might just be the best of the franchise. The kills are brutal and even nastier compared to the other movies as well as not shying away from showing a lot of blood. It's only heightened by some great set pieces and the film taking place in New York City. By finally getting out of Woodsboro, going somewhere different, and Ghostface now killing people in public places, it opens the door to a lot of opportunities and this film takes full advantage of it which leads to many suspenseful and intense scenes and some of them don't even rely on a lot of gore to be creepy. Finally, there are the performances and I'm happy to report that everyone here does a fantastic job. Let me say real quick that Melissa Barrera is much better here than she was in the last film and has many more standout moments that really showcase her talent as an actress and aren't just having the same expression most of the time. As for the rest, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Liana Liberato, Jack Champion, Dermot Mulroney, Henry Czerny, Josh Segarra, Samara Weaving, Hayden Panettiere, and Courtney Cox are all amazing, and do a fantastic job with their roles even if some of them I argue aren't given the best of material to work it. All of these aspects do help the film to become pretty entertaining and an overall good time, but maybe I'm being a little harsher here because I was expecting to like it a bit more considering how much I enjoyed the last film. When all is said and done though, Scream VI is still another entertaining film in this franchise that doesn't seem like it is going to be dying down again anytime soon. I guess I'm open to the idea of more Scream films and I'm sure with the supposed success of this film that there will be another one, but I sincerely do hope that this franchise can move on from the past and just do something that doesn't have to involve any of the past installments. I'm sorry but if we're gonna keep recycling and going back to past franchises over and over again, can we at least go back to them in a way where to don't have to rely on the past characters and stories to carry these franchises far into the future? I could probably talk about this issue of relying too much on the past further, but I digress. Anyway, if you're a fan of the Scream franchise, I would still highly recommend seeing this movie. As I already said, it delivers all of the goods that you would expect from a Scream movie and I would not tell people to not witness it in the theater. Like with a lot of other movies, it only makes the experience better. If the franchise does end here, it would be a perfectly fine way to send it off, but considering Hollywood and its past, I wouldn't count on this being the last one.