Scream VI ★★★
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Starring Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Courteney Cox
Away from Woodsboro', it's time for Sam and Tara (Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega respectively) to move away from their haunted past and live life to the full in New York City. At least that's what Tara believes, as Sam battles with false accusations and an overbearing sense of doom and killer repetition.
We're now six films into the Scream franchise and they continue to be meta as ever. Last year's self-coined "requel" was a major success, creating a great legacy film whilst riffing on the genre too, and setting up a brand new collection of characters. But where the last film felt innovative and creative, this one feels familiar and a bit too on-the-nose.
Jenna Ortega is having a moment, with appearances in Wednesday and X pushing her in to an A-class celebrity status pretty swift. Here, she commands every scene she's in and makes the franchise something worth taking seriously.
That's not to say that the film isn't clever. it has its moments throughout but it just all feels like something we've seen before. And yes that's the point and the film even comments on that (it's really that meta) but it all becomes a little too predictable. That being said, I didn't see the killer coming!
There's some fantastic set pieces; one sequence in particular sees the group of freshmen board the underground, and it does create an unprecedented tension that has you jumping and clenching in all the right places. It's a shame that this nuance isn't plastered all over the film.
Although shrouded by an over-the-top ending and a few too many "you just wouldn't do that" moments, it's still another fun instalment to a franchise that will forever live in the first's Ghostface-shaped shadow, though that's all part of the point.
Scream VI available in UK cinemas now