‘Scream VI: Ghostface takes Manhattan’ review

Ryan Ranc, Senior Life & Arts Reporter

This review is spoiler-free.

“Scream VI,” directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett of filmmaking collective Radio Silence, follows sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) as they move to the Big Apple alongside their remaining Woodsboro friends in hopes of leaving the horrors of recent Ghostface murders. But when another string of murders takes place in their new home, the Woodsboro survivors must face the reality of their place in a legacy of killers.

In many slasher franchises, moving their characters to the confines of New York City can feel cliché and forced, such as in “Friday the 13th Part VIII.” Radio Silence, however, proves moving Ghostface to New York marks a breath of fresh air for the saga. Audiences will find the change of setting refreshing since the movies, with the exception of “Scream 2,” have remained set in California for so long, rarely giving the franchise space to innovate. The film utilizes New York’s buzz and grandiosity to the fullest potential in scenes taking place on crowded subways and dark alleyways. Never before has a setting been so meticulously chosen to heighten a “Scream” story.

Since its conception in 1996, the “Scream” franchise has become famous for incorporating convoluted and action-packed chase sequences in which characters run or fight Ghostface. While last year’s “Scream V” lacked a big chase, “Scream VI” brought back Ghostface’s cat-and-mouse antics in a bombastic manner. Each chase scene feels uniquely tailored to its location and characters, and every obstacle encountered by desperate victims creates more and more tension until the chase reaches its boiling point. All in all, “Scream” fans will rejoice at the return of classic chase sequences.

“Scream VI” sets out to be the most brutal and gory entry yet, and it succeeds. Every kill grows gorier and gorier to an extent never reached by prior entries. Previous installments upped the graphic nature of the kills, but “Scream VI” takes the gore to new heights, matching the intensity of Ghostface’s rival buddies Jason and Freddy. Aside from the gore, numerous intense and action-packed scenes will leave audiences on the edge of their seats, from brawls with Ghostface to the gas station face-off teased in the trailer. In true sequel fashion, the stakes feel even higher for the lead heroines.

“Scream VI” brings the gore and intensity slasher fans craved. It retains everything that made the franchise such a hit in the first place, while still standing out from the five other movies that came before it. With a rumored seventh installment headed once again by Radio Silence already being greenlit prior to VI’s release, it’s safe to say Ghostface isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and Wes Craven would be proud to see what has become of his masterful work.

4 phone calls out of 5