Scream VI takes a stab at Women’s History Month on the big screen

Wed. March 8, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Scream VI forages into fresh territory while honoring the past legacy created by the iconic franchise. This time out we have a female-focused Scream just in time for Women's History Month for those wondering why it was released in March instead of October.

In the past, women have been notoriously objectified and mistreated in the horror movie genre. In some cases, they were regulated to being a damsel in distress or killed off before their character is fully developed.

This Scream tries to rectify some of that mess even though the directors are men. Scream 6 gives off female energy every chance it gets and women are shown as being smart, strong and powerful, not as victims. There's lesbian representation throughout the writing and also in the music thanks to queer singer girl in red.

Wes Craven injected the first four Scream films with humor and gore, much like he did with A Nightmare on Elm Street. This project follows that model and will have some audience members gasping for breath during the rollercoaster ride.

Scream six is more of a Scooby Doo mystery with a group of friends trying to figure out who is the culprit than a blood bath. Although less puny than Freddy Krueger, Ghostface has a sense of humor that Pinhead, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees combined couldn't match. It's not all jokes for this mischievous masked person as he is smart too and usually one step ahead of everyone else in a cat-and-mouse game.

The opening sequence has become a favorite for the franchise after the inaugural Scream where a well-known celebrity was killed right from the jump. It set the tone that no one was safe no matter the amount of star power and impressed devotees of slasher films immediately.

We begin this particular adventure with a blind date gone wrong set in a world where phone dependency is bigger than in 1996 when the first Scream came out. Things have progressed in many ways and the plot moves quickly in part six.

Straight from that original Scream film Melissa Barrera is once again Sam Carpenter, although she is all grown up now and clearly taking no prisoners. She's an important character in several ways and tries to fix her trauma with therapy sessions.

Rising star Jenna Ortega phones in the role of Tara Carpenter, Sam's sister, but is unfortunately not given much to do. Hayden Panettiere and Courtney Cox both return to the franchise and fare better with several quippy one-liners.

Ghostface's mask is now cracked and ancient compared to the brand-new store-bought version. This makes it more noticeable exactly how limiting the costume is as far as facial expressions. The killer can only angle the mask to display curiosity and then use frantic physical movements to convey intensity. The voice modulator is back and so are the cruel jokes which help to bring more nuance to the character.

While the Ghostface killer is looking a little shop-worn, the clever writing and unpredictable twists in the script keep the story moving. Much like the multiple Magic Mike movie series, the Scream team knows its limitations and has found the sweet spot to success. Scream VII could one day cut into some of the other failings found in the horror genre similar to what Jordan Peele has done with his projects. Until then diehard fans will enjoy this sixth endeavor and new viewers can easily jump on board even with a large amount of history.

Discover her-story as Scream VI takes a stab at a theatrical release on March 10, 2023.