Scream VI and the legacy of modern horror it represents
“Scream” has become a horror franchise of its own that has surpassed even horror legend, Wes Craven’s original vision for it, and this goes way back to the mid-90s when Neve Campbell, Drew Barrymore, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, and Jamie Kennedy were the main stars of the very first movie. Those six names alone represent what made the 90s so cool, edgy, youth-oriented, appealing, and different from any of the past eras of horror because of the caliber of actors we had back then and their individual personalities.
To have those six actors together in one movie represented an all-star casting and one big reason why the first Scream movie became a massive box office hit.
For those who got to watch the first Scream, the movie is so identified with the 90s rebirth of what we would know as modern horror, and Scream by large was responsible for that. So, when people mention chapters or eras in horror through the many decades that passed, our modern understanding of horror started with Scream for anyone who is in their 30s to 40s now.
Nearly 20 years later, for some, it is hard to believe that Scream has survived and remained a viable earning property in the year 2023 because the very definition of what is horror or a slasher-thriller has undoubtedly changed over time, yet the relevance of “Ghostface,” the villain of Scream, has remained the same.
Ironically, even though “Ghostface” is not a supernatural being or some demonic entity that never dies, the symbolic figure of “Ghostface” with his signature white mask and black outfit have become a never-ending evil force that the protagonists must put a stop to in each sequel. Realistically, any single person can put on the mask and outfit and carry on the murderous ways of the original “Ghostface,” which is the most disturbing aspect of the Scream movies because it would seem that “Ghostface” never dies. That is where the problem lies, especially when you have gotten to watch the Scream sequels: whoever would take on the mantle of ” Ghostface ” would continue killing the survivors or children and/or relatives of the victims.
There are only a handful of horror franchises that can remain dormant or inactive for years, and when a sequel is made, it still earns at the box office. Scream is on that shortlist.
What differentiates Scream from all the other horror franchises is that it is the only one that has never had a reboot, meaning there is only one timeline, and that has not changed with Scream VI, which has a very clever visual in its official movie trailer with “Ghostface” slashing the M and turning it into a Roman numeral of six in the movie title.
That was an ingenious move by the producers because it emphasizes Scream VI official trailer and this creative move has elicited a lot of excitement for this said coming movie because it promises to play by a different set of rules; it has a new setting, new characters and a few returning ones from the past movies. But the one big significant plot point I have spotted in the official trailer is that the protagonists will be going up against a cult, a group of demented followers and fanatics of the original “Ghostface” who has been dead for a long time, and from the looks of it, the protagonists will be facing at least six of these “Ghostface” wannabees who are armed with guns and knives.
For me, each Scream movie has become a multi-generational event for its fans because each time a sequel is released, it guarantees that new blood will be brought in and a few of the past or older stars will always be there. The inclusion of Jenna Ortega will surely please a lot of people. Will Jenna Ortega’s on-screen character survive? There is only one way to find out.
Still, the presence of the on-screen character of original cast member Courteney Cox is going to be the crucial connection to the very first movie moving forward to its fifth sequel because you have to have at least one or two of the original cast to keep the timeline true and active in a sense.
Why has Scream lasted to the times we are in? I believe one of the overriding reasons is that it manages to evolve with the times. As trivial as that may sound, this point is so critical because had Scream not adapted to the ever-changing tastes of people when it comes to their brand of horror and slasher-thrillers, then I do not see how they could have made numerous sequels, and what more, reach a Scream VI!
This foresight alone by the producers is impressive and worth mentioning because the Scream franchise, with its fifth sequel on the way by March 2023, has put this said horror franchise in the category of “Friday the 13th” movies and the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” movies.
Finally, “Ghostface” has become a horror icon.
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