If you have missed any or all of the first five iterations of the “Scream” series, there is no marathon needed to catch up in time for the latest movie in the franchise: “Scream VI.” Picking up with the Ghostface killer survivors of before, the plot relocates alongside the “core four” (the four survivors from “Scream V”) to New York City. The opening scene screams cliche with a blonde woman in a tight dress and an early murder.
Does the blonde in the tight dress commit the murder; is she the character who, in fact, meets with a violent end; does it matter? If plot is a sequence of events, each affecting the next, then any or all scenes from “Scream VI” could be scrambled and watched and understood just as easily.
There is fresh paint on this latest series production. The four Woodsboro, California teen survivors from the prior installment have all managed to land on the opposite side of the continent. They are unable, however, to avoid their terrifying past. Continuous murders, faux-murders and traumatic shots to the head of the assailant are suspended by just enough time to take a breath and listen to the sound of knives cutting air.
Those who enjoyed Dan Harmon’s “Community” will appreciate Mindy Meeks-Martin’s (Jasmin Savoy Brown) riffs against the film’s many plot elements. She is an apparent film student in the movie with a niche in slasher films who successfully, or not (no spoilers here), explains, aloud, the structural components written into the storyline and makes predictions as to who can, cannot, should or should not be trusted.
Her twin brother, Chad (Mason Gooding), is perhaps the one likable character. He is level headed throughout and seems to be the most well adjusted member of the cast, despite his past. The mal-adjusted Carpenter twins assume a predictably heroic role. The sibling angst that rivals their love for each other early in the film is resolved under pressure late in the film. They manage to feed off of each other’s strong characteristics throughout and, because of this, remain sufficiently poised throughout.
Given the extensiveness of the series, it is unsurprising that former faces lend their influence throughout this box-office stalemate of originality. Even if the film is shy of creativity, however, there are some atypical features to the running dialogue that make one an undisputed rooter for their survival.