The iconic Ghostface mask lurking in a stream of blood next to the title “Scream.” “Scream 6” is bound to make a chilling release on March 10. Illustration by Hannah Nellen


The “Scream” franchise is officially back in business with the release of “Scream 5” (2022) and a sixth “Scream” film coming on March 10, 2023. While we love a good horror marathon, sometimes you just want a comprehensive look at the franchise for quick references. From iconic lines like, “Oh, please don’t kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel!” to “What’s your favorite scary movie?” much is expected from the release of “Scream 6.”

“Scream” is an American slasher movie franchise known by most as a part of the horror slasher genre, alongside “Friday the Thirteenth,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Halloween” and many other classics. “Scream” manages to be funny, clever and scary, as a fright-masked knife maniac known as Ghostface torments teenagers in the small suburban town of Woodsboro using the theme of horror films as a deadly game of cat and mouse. While unnervingly quizzing his extremely self-aware targets about their favorite scary movies, the killer remains unknown. Released in December of 1996, it follows high school student Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her group of friends in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, as they become the targets of a mysterious killer. The first four films in the “Scream” franchise follow Sidney and her cyclical battle with a bevy of serial killers as she’s the main player and now-iconic “final girl.” The murder of Sidney’s mother at the beginning of the first film starts an unending revenge plot to kill or be killed. There is a rotating cast of characters but two mainstays, Deputy—and later Sheriff—Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and tabloid reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) who are both by her side throughout these ordeals. Although all the movies follow similar plot lines of copycat killers, each film has its own unique killer and victims which usually all connect to one another in some way. 

After its release, “Scream,” became the highest-grossing slasher film in the world until the release of “Halloween” in 2018. The film was directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, who revitalized the slasher-horror genre. “Scream 5 (2022)” passed the torch to a new generation with Billy Loomis’, the original killer’s, secret daughter Sam (Melissa Barrera) and her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) as the new protagonists in “Scream 5” with legacy characters helping out along the way. “Scream 6” promises to take some new steps that could take the franchise in a totally new direction.

“Scream 5 (2022)” received generally positive reviews which indicated that a demand still exists for the slasher horror movies, which is why “Scream 6” was given the green light. The “Scream 6”cast of returning characters and new faces are poised to carry on the franchise, with some legacy characters like Gale Weathers playing supporting roles in the sequel. While fans can expect the usual meta-commentary on the horror genre as well as some bloody kills, “Scream 6” is shaking things up a little by taking the action from the sleepy town of Woodsboro to the big city of New York.

“Scream 6” directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett responded to controversial changes the film has made to its iconic horror villain Ghostface. Following the successful revival of Wes Craven’s slasher franchise with 2022’s “Scream 5,” “Scream 6” is set to see the Carpenter sisters Sam and Tara relocate to New York City after their last brush with the masked killer. Earlier this year, a new trailer offered audiences their first glimpse of the franchise’s latest big-city outing, however, one Ghostface moment would go on to spark fierce debate, when the killer was seen using a shotgun instead of the original knife. Despite the online backlash it has generated, it is unlikely “Scream 6’s” Ghostface will be using a shotgun for very long. As several keen-eyed viewers have already pointed out, the firearm simply appears to be a weapon of convenience. Nonetheless, this “Scream 6” update of Ghostface still seems destined to buck many of the trends established by those who came before him and overall change the legacy of “Scream” and the slasher horror movie industry. 

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