After last year's Scream revival was a commercial success, it was no surprise when a follow-up was announced soon after.
Scream VI, once again directed by Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, takes place in New York, where sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) and twins Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) have relocated to in an effort to move on from the Woodsboro massacre. Around a year after that killing spree, Ghostface shows up in the Big Apple and once again targets the survivors.
This horror gets off to a great start with an excellent sequence that knowingly rips up the opening kill tropes and plays with our expectations. It cleverly pulls the rug out from under us and signals that anything could happen in the next two hours.
Unfortunately, it doesn't maintain that standard for the entire runtime. It loses steam in the second half, the pace starts to drag, and it falls into silly traps that it tried so hard to dodge earlier on.
But the biggest disappointment is the killer reveal. Naturally, we have to receive a motive for why they are Ghostface but the explanation is clunky and pretty lame. Also, once the masks come off, the acting is OTT and hammy, with the killer(s) suddenly behaving like stereotypically crazed psychopaths.
Also, viewers must suspend their disbelief with some of the most violent stabbings. Some characters should not be able to survive those, let alone carry on moving. Every Scream movie suffers from this problem so this isn't anything new, but you would think these revival movies are smart and aware enough to stop this silliness.
Neve Campbell is sadly missed as the franchise's signature final girl Sidney Prescott (she didn't return due to a pay dispute), however, the legacy characters aren't given much to do so perhaps her no-show is wise. Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) didn't feel completely vital to the story, even if they do get some cool scenes.
Although it has its problems and the ending is a letdown, the majority of Scream VI is actually quite good.
It's entertaining, thrilling, and refreshing, with exciting setpieces, bloody kills, solid scares, and the fun meta-commentary about "the rules" of horror films.
In cinemas from Wednesday 8th March.