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A fun opening is countered by an underwhelming final act in Scream VI, which in-between is a decent but hardly transformative entry in the enduring horror franchise.

Is there still uncharted territory left in a horror franchise that's on its sixth entry? Scream VI proves there is, even if the dividends the minor innovations pay are less than you might expect.

The opening scene is a case in point. On the one hand the sequence slyly subverts your expectations, while also doing the exact same things the previous five Scream films did in their first ten minutes. Its a trend that - at times frustratingly - is repeated throughout Scream VI.

The decision to move the main characters out of Woodboro for the first time - the action takes entirely place in New York City - does offer a pleasing change in dynamics. Escaping Ghostface amid the anonimity of the big city proves to be a major challenge that considerably ups the stakes. Still, you have the feeling that much better drama could have been mined from this, as the majority of the suspense scenes - an excellent subway sequence excluded - could have taken place in just about any town.

The reveal of the Ghostface killer (and the explanations for it) also leaves much to be desired, particularly because the wild goose chases writers and directors sent you on promised many better potential antagonists.

Overall, I'd call Scream VI a better film than its predecessor. Whether it's enough to get me exited about the inevitable seventh chapter, I'm not sure of however.

release: 2023

director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

starring: Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere, Courteney Cox


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