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Scream 6 - Everything You Need To Know

Do you like scary movies? If you do, then you probably love the "Scream" franchise. Released in 1996, the original "Scream" took horror to new meta levels, reinvigorated the dying slasher genre, and introduced us to iconic characters like Sidney Prescott, Dewey Riley, and the knife-wielding Ghostface. The movie became the 13th highest-grossing film of the year, earned praise from critics like Roger Ebert, and kicked off a killer franchise that's still going strong — and getting meta with it — all these years later.

In fact, the sixth installment in the series slashed its way onto theater screens on March 10, 2023. With a runtime of 2 hours and 3 minutes, it's the longest entry in the franchise, but does it compare to earlier installments — especially the 2022 "requel" that brought the series back to life and set up the events of part six? Did any of the cast members from the fifth film return, and what did critics and audiences think about Ghostface's latest murder spree? Well, if you think you've got what it takes to survive, read on for everything you need to know about "Scream 6."

What is the plot of Scream 6?

In 2022's "Scream," we were introduced to half-sisters Tara and Sam Carpenter, the latter of whom reveals she's the daughter of Billy Loomis — one-half of the original Ghostface duo. Obviously, that's quite a lot to deal with, especially when a new Ghostface shows up and is dead-set on hacking Sam and her friends to pieces. Following the rules of a reboot sequel, aka a "requel," Tara, Sam, and friends Mindy and Chad Meeks-Martin make it out of the movie alive, along with long-time final girl Sidney Prescott and the pistol-packing Gale Weathers (RIP poor Dewey Riley).

Of course, there's no rest for the weary, and that's especially true in the world of "Scream." The new installment moves from Woodsboro to New York, with our young heroes from the fifth film looking to escape their bloody past and find a new start. But move over, Jason Voorhees — this time, Ghostface is taking Manhattan, and Tara, Sam, Mindy, and Chad (the "core four") will have to join forces with intrepid reporter Gale Weathers and previous Ghostface survivor Kirby Reed if they're going to make it through the Big Apple alive. Only, this particular slasher seems even more violent than the previous Ghostface killers, and he's not afraid of ditching his trademark knife for the occasional firearm. 

Who is starring in Scream 6?

Okay, let's address the elephant in the room — or rather, the final girl not in the room. There are two mainstays of the "Scream" franchise: Ghostface and Sidney Prescott. While various actors have donned the twisted ghost mask, Neve Campbell is the one and only Sidney, defeating masked murderers and overcoming serious trauma again and again. Sidney survived the fifth film, but we're sorry to report that Campbell doesn't reprise the role in part six. 

Speaking with People, Campbell revealed the paycheck she was being offered for the film was insulting, explaining, "I did not feel that what I was being offered equated to the value that I bring to this franchise and have brought to this franchise for 25 years. ... I honestly don't believe that if I were a man and had done five installments of a huge blockbuster franchise over 25 years, that the number that I was offered would be the number that would be offered to a man."

Sticking with her guns, Campbell refused to star in "Scream 6." However, Courteney Cox is back in action as Gale Weathers, and she's joined by another vet from the franchise. Hayden Panettiere is back as Kirby Reed, who evidently survived her seemingly fatal stab wound in "Scream 4." Of course, they're joined by 2022 stars Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Mason Gooding as Sam, Tara, Mindy, and Chad, respectively.

As for newcomers to the series, you can expect to see both scream queen Samara Weaving ("Ready or Not," "The Babysitter") and Tony Revolori of "Spider-Man" and "Grand Budapest Hotel" fame. They're be joined by the likes of "Mission: Impossible's" Henry Czerny and "My Best Friend's Wedding's" Dermot Mulroney, along with Jack Champion ("Avatar: The Way of Water") Liana Liberato ("The Best of Me"), Devyn Nekoda ("Ginny & George"), and Josh Segarra ("Arrow"). And while we won't spoil who's wearing the Ghostface mask, we know who'll provide that chilling voice — "Scream" OG Roger L. Jackson. Plus, you can expect to see ghostly visions of Billy Loomis, played by original actor Skeet Ulrich.

Who directed Scream 6?

Don't mess with success. 2022's "Scream" was a hit with critics and at the box office, so why mess around with that formula? You don't, and that's why Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett returned to direct "Scream 6." Working with producer Chad Villella, these three are known collectively as Radio Silence, and in addition to 2022's "Scream," they've honed their horror chops on the anthology horror flick "Southbound," the "10/31/98" segment in "V/H/S," and the hilarious demonic thriller "Ready or Not," starring Samara Weaving.

So what did Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett hope to achieve with "Scream 6?" Speaking with NME, Gillett explained their goals for the flick, saying, "Part of our assignment on 'Scream 5' was to play the greatest hits, to really show that we were part of a long lineage of characters. With 'Scream 6,' we wanted to subvert that warm blanket and make something that's grittier and rawer. ... It's relentless and really visceral."

Who wrote and produced Scream 6?

As Ghostface himself might menacingly say over the phone — name the screenwriters of 2022's "Scream." Did you guess James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick? Correct. These two writers collaborated to help revive the franchise, and they teamed up again for "Scream 6." However, they had quite a few titles under their respective belts before they found themselves in the bloody world of Woodsboro.

Previously, Busick co-wrote the script for "Ready or Not," a horror-comedy that finds Samara Weaving's bride trying to survive the world's worst wedding night. He's also contributed to TV shows such as "Castle Rock" and "Stan Against Evil." As for Vanderbilt, here's a screenwriter who's been pretty busy. He's penned "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Independence Day: Resurgence," "Murder Mystery," and perhaps David Fincher's finest film — "Zodiac."

On the producing side of things, Chad Villella of the Radio Silence collective (which also includes "Scream 6" directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett) guided the upcoming slasher to the screen as an executive producer. In addition to other names, he was joined by Kevin Williamson — the man who brought Ghostface to life by penning the scripts for 1996's "Scream" and 1997's "Scream 2."

How are critics and audiences responding to Scream 6?

Most critics seem to have enjoyed "Scream 6." The film currently has a 77% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 245 reviews, which is pretty solid. But what did they actually have to say about the sixth slasher?

Our own Dominic Griffin responded positively to the film and noted that it's indeed the most brutal entry in the franchise, writing, "'Scream VI' feels like the nastiest and most violent of the franchise thus far, which is saying something given the first dead body we saw on screen in this film had its intestines hanging out. But there's just something blunt and pugilistic about the killings here. There's a sense that anybody can die, even bystanders. It feels like the filmmakers are trying to capture the wanton malice that feels like it's lurking through society and tuck it all behind the Ghostface mask."

Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting concurred, saying, "This slasher sequel lets a ruthless Ghostface loose in the city, slicing up an intense, flawless entry that continues the streak of insightful introspection while escalating the thrills, kills, humor, and heart to a breathless degree." On the more negative side of things, David Sims of The Atlantic wasn't fond of the film, saying the franchise was losing some of its metatextual power. As he put it, "There just isn't enough juice behind the stagecraft. The Scream movies have thrived because they've always stayed one step ahead of their source material — but as the franchise grows more bloated, they risk becoming their own punch line."

As for audiences, they were all about "Scream 6." The film currently has a 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 2,500+ ratings. It just goes to show that no matter where you run, Ghostface is going to follow, and people are going to love it.

How did Scream 6 perform at the box office?

"Scream" has always been a popular franchise, and "Scream 6" had the good fortune of both following the amazing fifth installment and starring Jenna Ortega, who'd rocketed to international fame just months before with Netflix's "Wednesday" series. Plus, horror is always super marketable, and with all those elements mixed together, "Scream 6" had the best opening weekend of any film in the franchise.

After debuting on March 10, 2023, "Scream 6" earned $44.5 million domestically and $22.6 million overseas, bringing things to a whopping $67.1 million total. In slicing and dicing its way to the #1 spot at the box office, "Scream 6" beat the #2 film, "Creed III" (still performing well from the previous weekend), and it absolutely carved up its big March 10 competitor — the dinosaur action flick "65," which bombed harder than an asteroid hitting the Earth.

What is Scream 6 rated?

"Scream 6" has been billed as the biggest, baddest, bloodiest of the "Scream" movies. Everybody's been saying this one is brutal and that this Ghostface is the cruelest of the bunch ... and the movie does not disappoint. As a result, "Scream 6" is rated R for "strong bloody violence and language throughout and brief drug use." While all the "Scream" movies are fun and feature plenty of comedy, don't go into this expecting something light and breezy. Ghostface always means business, especially this time around, and the violence here definitely lives up to the hype.