They did what I thought was impossible: figure out how to carry on the Scream franchise without Sidney Prescott. And, in a shocking turn of events, I’m happy about it.
Like most fans of the heavily self-aware franchise, I saw the film as close to premiere day as I could. Scream is one of those series that is near and dear to my heart, as I’m sure it is for a lot of you (it’s so wonderfully crafted and I could talk about it for hours). So, ever since hearing the news about Neve Campbell’s salary dispute and subsequent drop out from the film, I’ve been nervous. I struggled with the idea of a Scream film that is missing Sidney Prescott. Even 2022’s Scream had Sidney in it, heavily relying on her for the 3rd act of the film. As far as I was concerned, without Sidney Prescott, there was no Scream.
I was wrong. I’ll admit that I was wrong. You can absolutely still have Scream without Sidney Prescott and that’s by having a strong cast that works well together and by still giving us that dose of nostalgia with the presence of another franchise staple, Gale Weathers. Scream VI, written by the previous films’ writers, James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not), follows four of the survivors from the most recent Woodsboro Massacre to New York City, where each of them is trying to move on from the tragedy. Sam, however, let’s us know very quickly that she’s having more trouble moving on than the others. Her birth father being Billy Loomis has a lot to do with it. All survivors of the recent massacre find themselves being hunted by a Ghostface Killer, except for Sidney. Gale informs her of what’s going on and instead of running towards the trouble, she took her family and went somewhere safe. And that is the last we hear of Sidney Prescott. You know what? I’m happy about that. Sidney is one of those characters in cinema that deserves a happy ending. She’s been through so much. So, even though Sidney is visibly absent from the film, she’s still mentioned and given closure. And that’s all I needed.
From there on out, all my attention was focused on the “Core Four”, Gale Weathers, and their survival. And, their chances are pretty slim, as Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) points out, explaining the rules, or really lack thereof, for a “requel”. With that logic, I had no clue who would die and who would live. It was a free for all that I hadn’t felt since I saw the first Scream film years ago. And it was so much fun. I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed watching a film this much. And, although the Ghostface reveal was a bit predictable, it didn’t take away from the enjoyment at all. The easter eggs throughout the film were numerous and each one brought a smile to my face. Although, hearing Dewey’s theme creep up while Gale was talking about him nearly broke me. I wish I was lying. It emotionally punched me in the gut. The seamless, Hitchcock-like transition of main characters was genius. And it’s exactly what the franchise needs to keep going. I cannot wait for the next one.