It’s time for the Carpenter sisters to get out of the sleepy, stabby suburbs of Woodsboro, California, and relocate to … someplace safer. How about some East Coast city, for example?
So, Sam and Tara—along with fellow Scream franchise survivors Chad and Mindy Meeks—head off to school in Manhattan. No more bloody knives and creepy killers for them! Except for those you’d expect in the thug-filled streets of New York, that is. Those are OK. They’re expected.
But wait. It seems that well-publicized masked mass-murderers have a way of motivating other masked and murder-minded folks. And so, before you can say, “Look it’s Halloween again,” a couple college students are donning Ghostface masks and killing people in the street.
And then they in turn get chopped into pieces and stored in a fridge by another Ghostface killer. How do you keep up with them all?
In fact, someone has even set up something of a shrine for all the past Ghostface killers in an abandoned local theater. It features their actual masks and murder weapons.
Once again, Sam and Tara must be on the lookout for anyone murdery looking. But wouldn’t you know it, this Halloween, that now-iconic Ghostface mask is a huuuge seller. Who’s the real killer and who isn’t? Which is a real bloody knife and which a rubber prop?
Good thing there are so many of the girl’s past friends and foes hanging around in New York these days. I mean, you never know when you might need a helping hand.
Or a meat shield.
Sam, Tara, Chad and Mindy rally together, dubbing themselves the “Core Four.” And they promise to have each other’s back through thick and thin. And indeed they do, each putting her life on the line for the others (with some enduring horrible attacks).
At one point, Sam decides that she’ll give up and let a chasing Ghostface kill her if it means that her friends survive. But the killer isn’t so easily satisfied.
Sam and Tara’s good friend, Mindy, is gay. We see her kiss her girlfriend. Mindy’s brother Chad is obviously attracted to Tara. The two flirt and eventually kiss several times. Chad goes to a Halloween party as a shirtless cowboy.
Sam and Tara’s roommate, Quinn, has a habit of sleeping around with a variety of guys. We hear Quinn and a guy having moaning sex on the other side of a bedroom wall. (The film’s characters, as a whole, readily accept that bed-hopping at college is a common and accepted event. In fact, Quinn freely agrees to being called a slut by someone.)
Sam and Quinn eye a “cute guy” who is shirtless in an apartment window across the alley. Later Sam spots him in the building’s joint lobby and walks up and kisses him. We then learn that the two have been having a secret sexual relationship for a while.
A horror movie on TV displays a young woman who is partially nude. Her top is torn open, and we see a bit of the side of her breast very briefly.
Early on, Mindy talks about the formula of slasher horror movies. And she notes that by the time you reach the later sequels, legacy characters are then disposable. And in that light, we see plenty of brutal thrashings aimed at lead characters this go ’round. And lead character or not, there is an abundance of deadly violence to wade through here.
We see people stabbed viciously and repeatedly in the chest, neck, shoulder, stomach and back. At one point, one character recalls killing someone by stabbing him 22 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the head. And we see similarly brutal executions mirrored here. Stabbing victims fall or slump to the ground in pools of blood, their flesh visibly hacked open.
One person’s entrails ooze out after repeated stabbings. Someone gets stabbed in the face, another in the mouth and a third in the eye. A guy opens a refrigerator to discover his friend in there—in large, bloody chunks. A victim is left in a bathtub spattered liberally with blood and gore. A woman is mortally wounded, and then as she attempts to crawl away, she falls four stories to literally crush her face against the edge of a metal dumpster.
We also see people brutally battered. Someone is hit in the face with a frying pan, another has his head crushed by an old-school cathode-ray tube TV. A victim gets hit in the face with a brick and bends forward to spit out her bloody teeth. A guy gets tased in the crotch and falls over, writhing in pain. Glass shards yield bleeding cuts and wounds, just another way we see blood flowing and spurting freely among the myriad other such moments here.
Someone talks about date-rape.
A killer talks about his goal to butcher certain people. A killer also talks of the “ecstasy” he feels when stabbing a victim. And he notes that the more he stabbed someone, the more that person became “just meat.”
This film packs more than 60 f-words and nearly 20 s-words, along with multiple uses each of “h—,” “d–n,” “b–ch” and “a–hole” into the dialogue. In addition, there are a half dozen crude references to male genitalia. God’s and Jesus’ names are both misused a total of seven times, too (two of those uses blending God’s name with “d–n”).
There’s some pretty heavy drinking at a college frat party. We see people consuming beer and hard alcohol. And one guy puffs marijuana in a bong. Tara is pretty tipsy at this event and is almost coaxed upstairs by someone because of her inebriation.
Wine and liquor bottles litter Sam and Tara’s apartment. The movie opens with a young woman drinking with others at a bar. And later a guy swigs vodka after he murders someone.
We see people judge and abuse Sam for her past association with a murderer.
Like any other long-running horror franchise will tell ya’, you don’t just lay down and die when there’s money to be made. But what do you do when you hit the sixth entry in a self-aware, let’s grin-over-grisly-carnage slasher franchise?
Well, the makers of Scream VI have obviously decided that it’s time to pretty much chuck everything they can at the screen. All of the past cast members (those that are still alive, that is) are primed for at least a stab or two from a large kitchen knife. And all the past Ghostface killers—and killer movie culture in general—are “fondly” memorialized.
Scream VI glories in gratuitous, graphic carnage, whether it’s courtesy of a sharp blade entering exposed skin, a heavy object dislodging teeth from a young person’s face, or some other squirm inducing fatality. Add a sloshing blood truck full of gory visuals, profanity and cheeky winks and you’ve got a movie.
Frankly, this latest Scream pic even goes so far as to tell us early on—via horror movie fan, Mindy—exactly how its story and butchery will be played out. So, fans of this flesh-gashing, entrail-leaking, happily meta movie series won’t be necessarily surprised by what’s on display.
The rest of us should not be either.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.