Scream VI: a scream for all the wrong reasons

Folks, this won’t take long. Scream VI is poor. It’s a poor excuse for a horror movie, and just as poor an excuse for a comedy – and sadly it tries to be both of these things at the same time.

Scream VI

There are two or three genuinely tense and funny moments, but they are ruined by cliched characters, cliched soap opera quality dialogue, and a plot that doesn’t make sense and doesn’t seem to care. The ending in particular descends into a ridiculous and laugh-out-loud farce, and you’re left wondering if that’s what the whole thing is meant to be. Some sort of commentary on the phenomenon that is a movie franchise. Maybe. But a farce should be clever. At times this feels like a B movie striving for cult status. I don’t think it reaches those heights.

How some characters survive multiple stabbings and some don’t could be worth a special subject in medical school. How an investigative journalist uncovers a secret lair is simply unexplained. There are several plot holes which I won’t mention in case you do want to see this. And you may. This is a franchise, and they keep making these films, which tells you there is an audience ready and waiting for more. I’m not sure how that loyal audience will feel after watching this one.

For the record, the better scenes involve a subway ride (which you may be familiar with if you’ve seen the trailer) a decent bit of confrontation involving Courtney Cox’s character in her apartment, and a funny riff on the familiar twists and turns of the aforementioned franchise movie.

In between, the film covers territory that had me checking my watch. Now I have not followed this series of films – it goes back 26 years – and my recollection of the first film is sketchy. You may argue that without this knowledge I can’t appreciate the back story and care for the characters as much as I should. Don’t think so. We’re entitled to treat a film in its own right and be drawn into it by the quality of its storytelling. That didn’t happen here.

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