If there’s one thing scarier than a ghost face, it’s a movie franchise that’s been resurrected one too many times. But with Scream VI, the latest entry in the beloved horror series, it’s clear that there’s still plenty of blood left to spill.
Set years after the events of the previous film, Scream VI is, at its best, a thrilling ride that pays homage to its predecessors while still delivering plenty of surprises. The New York City backdrop offers a few fun set pieces on city streets and around popular landmarks. The film’s new young cast is talented and engaging, and the return of franchise favorites Hayden Panettiere and Courtney Cox is a welcome sight. In particular, though, Jenna Ortega delivers a captivating and commanding performance as the film’s protagonist, Tara Carpenter.
Ortega, who has been steadily rising in Hollywood for years, provides a nuanced and emotional portrayal of a young woman who is forced to confront her past while fighting for survival in the present. Additionally, Ortega brings a refreshing energy and diversity to the Scream franchise, which white actors have historically dominated. As a Latina actress, Ortega’s presence not only brings representation to the film but also adds a new layer of complexity to Tara’s character.
Unfortunately, there are a few missteps in the execution. Some scares feel a bit too familiar, and the film struggles to find a balance between honoring the past and carving out its own identity. The script lacks the cleverness and self-awareness that made the original Scream such a classic, a byproduct perhaps of rushing it into production. While there are some nods to the previous films, the meta-commentary feels forced and uninspired. Additionally, the finale feels a bit rushed and leaves some loose ends that may leave fans feeling unsatisfied.
Still, as a late-night crowd-pleaser, Scream VI is a fun ride for casual fans of the franchise. It’s great to see the old gang back together, and the film has enough twists and turns to keep audiences engaged. However, it’s hard not to feel like something is missing from this latest chapter in the Scream saga.
RATING: 3.0 out of 5.0
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