I attended a media preview of this movie. All opinions are my own.
I am a big fan of the original Scream movie and I have seen it more times than I could even count. This is such a gem of a movie that I still to this day will be surprised by the Easter eggs that I have missed previously. It raised the bar so high for being a smart, funny and scary movie that several have failed to capture the same level of success or popularity. I hesitate to say that it has become a comfort movie but it is one that reminds me of my own high school nostalgia. At the end of a long week sometimes taking that mental break of having to put down your phone, have a snack and let yourself be absorbed by what your watching can be just the mental break needed to get back to your to-do list. For me, this franchise has also become something that I can bond with my teenager over as we both love horror movies. It gives us something different to talk about or to theorize who will be the next killers as solving the mystery of who is wearing the mask is a big part of the enjoyment of these movies.
I think with any franchise you have to keep the expectations low especially as we get into 4-6 movie range. I really did not like Scream (2022) and because of that I kept my expectations extremely low for this movie and was actually pleasantly surprised that it was so much better. In the previous movie I felt like we were stressed that the characters were all connected to the legacy characters but there wasn’t enough character development that as an audience member that I cared about what happened to the current cast. I also really hope that bringing Stu’s nephew back for a scene and a half only to kill him off will lead into a bigger plot point for future movies.
Scream 6 has the “core four” cast moving to New York for college. This movie very much follows a similar plot as Scream 2. Sam Carpenter is determined to protect her little sister Tara, while Tara prefers to put the past in the past and pretend like it didn’t happen. In the year since the events of the last movie, Sam, has become a villain in the public’s perception. As the daughter of serial killer Billy Loomis, they think she was the mastermind behind the actions of Ritchie Kirsch and Amber Freeman. The characters both didn’t feel like they were criminal mastermind’s so if the new movies are following the story of their predecessor, the 7th installment should reflect that there was someone else truly responsible for the murders starting up again. I know many fans are hoping that this will be either Stu Macher or Jill Roberts. With Dewey being killed off in the last movie, they brought a previous character, Kirby Reed, in as a FBI agent to help catch the latest killers.
My biggest complaint is that a scene would start in the day, seemingly no time had passed and all of a sudden it was dark out. Also in the digital age where we always have out phones on us there are a few attacks that doesn’t make sense that the characters wouldn’t be calling or texting to warn the characters that are in danger. The movie time is the longest in the franchise but it did feel like most of the movie took place in 3 scenes that it could have been shorter or could have had more story to it. It had the highest kill count in the franchise with 13 but it didn’t feel gory for the sake of being gory which I appreciated. This movie did seem to erase any character development for Gayle Weathers. She had promised the Carpenter sisters that she wouldn’t write a book about the events and she decided since someone was going to write a book that it may as well be here. They quickly joined forces with her to catch the killer but it did seem a bit cheesy that they replicated the punch scene between Tara and Gayle, similar to the one between Sidney and Gayle in the original movie. The characters do touch on the fact that Gayle has been the one to profit so much on the pain of others that have been affected in these events that it would be a really interesting direction to base Scream 7 on.
Whether it was because I have seen every movie in the franchise and know that they do tend to make at least one of the killers obviously mentioned, I did find it a bit easier to solve this time around. The killers were Detective Bailey and his children, Quinn and Ethan. They were wanting revenge against Sam for killing Ritchie who was their family member. Mindy Meeks pretty much guesses one of the killers the moment that she reviews “the rules” for surviving a horror franchise. The sisters also receive a call from Ritchie’s phone near the beginning of the movie which could have been cloned but makes more sense that his family would have still had his phone. The shrine that is in the movie also has a lot of evidence from previous victims that even for the richest collector seems like they would have to have a police connection in order to access. The revenge angle also leaves the door open for Ritchie’s mom to be a future villain as she isn’t in this film. All legacy characters survived this film which is a bit unusual for the franchise.
I really hope to see Sidney return for the 7th movie. It didn’t really make sense for her character to be in this film but would like to see her return again especially if they decide to lean into having Stu return which has been hinted at in the last two movies. Since we are also getting deeper into the franchise I would almost like to see them lean a bit more into the ridiculousness of what the franchise could be and maybe take a page out of the I Still Know What You Did Last Summer playbook and have these college kids go on vacation to unwind from the events of the movie and have a Ghostface pop up on a beach.