Discussing the Scream franchise with the stars of Scream VI

Discussing the Scream franchise with the stars of Scream VI

Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding take a deep dive into the Scream franchise and tells us what makes Scream VI stand out. 

“I’ve always said that Scream is a very loving franchise and respects its fans,” says Mason Gooding, one of the stars of the upcoming Scream VI movie.

“It does a lot of work to make them feel respected and seen and appreciated,” he continues. “There’s a lot of other horror movies that are very mean with their violence and their kills. Scream is not one of them – I think you leave the movie feeling better than you came into it.”

Gooding plays Chad in the upcoming addition to the horror franchise, one of the ‘core four’ – the four survivors from the previous ‘requel’ movie, Scream, which was released in 2022.

Now, if all of this sequel, requel and franchise stuff is getting a bit confusing, we’ll give you a quick tour right here. The original Scream was released back in 1996 and gave the slasher movie a new lick of paint with its clever – and very meta – take on the genre.

Directed by horror legend Wes Craven, it followed Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette), who were all trying to escape and find the real identity of the Ghostface killer who is terrorising the quiet suburban town of Woodsboro.

Scream had a direct sequel with Scream 2 in 1997, and then another, Scream 3 in 2000, all directed by Craven.

Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox returned to the franchise in Scream 2.

There was then a bit of a gap in Scream movies, but Craven returned to the franchise in 2011 for Scream 4, which was sadly to be his final Scream movie before he died.

It starred the survivors from the original cast alongside Emma Roberts as Sidney’s cousin Jill and Hayden Panettiere as Kirby (who returns to the franchise in Scream VI). 

That could have been the end of the franchise if it wasn’t for the flurry of ‘requels’ gracing the silver screen in the past few years. A requel is basically a movie set within a franchise, and revisits the subject of an earlier film, but that does not necessarily mean it is a remake or a linear continuation of its plot (i.e not a sequel). 

Films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Halloween (2018) and Creed have done this successfully, and so did Scream when it was released in 2022. 

Directed by Ready Or Not’s Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the duo were the perfect pair to take on a new movie fad via a franchise that famously discusses movie fads within its storyline. 

Now the pair are back with Scream VI, and things are changing up once again with the usual setting of Woodsboro being moved to New York. It’s also the first movie with just one Scream alumni in it, with Cox returning once more as Gale Weathers. 

Okay, all caught up? Good. Back with the interviews. 

We’re wondering how a movie that’s set so far apart from the first Scream – in location, time and even without most of the original cast – can still fit within the franchise. And who better to ask than Jasmin Savoy Brown? 

Brown plays Chad’s sister Mindy – the horror geek who tells her friends (and us) the ‘new’ rules of the genre within the movies (she’s also Randy’s niece, the horror geek from the first movie. See how it all fits in?).

Scream VI fits in this franchise because of Ghostface, the iconic killer,” she tells us. “We have the same theme of family and friends and ‘who could be the killer?’ Anyone could be the killer. But it’s different because this is the most brutal, intense, scary Ghostface that we have seen. It stands out because it takes everything from [Scream 2022] and brings it to another level.”

Jasmin Savoy Brown says ‘this is the most brutal, intense, scary Ghostface that we have seen’.

“He’s definitely killing a lot more people,” agrees Jenna Ortega who plays Tara (another of the ‘core four’). “He’s a lot more careless. 

“Ghostface has typically been shown as falling over himself at times,” she continues. “He’s kind of lovable and funny because he’s got his own little quirks and in this one there’s still definitely those moments but he’s more dangerous [in this movie]. I would say he’s not as methodical. It’s strictly murder.” 

Being part of such an epic franchise means not only does the latest iteration have to feel part of the universe, but to be a real success, it needs to stand out too. 

“I think Scream VI stands out in this franchise because it’s probably the most intense Scream has ever gotten,” Ortega explains  “I think that the horror aspect really comes into play in this one.” 

That new setting plays a big part too in ensuring the movie carves (sorry) a path of its own.”It’s the first time that our franchise has left the West Coast,” nods Melissa Barrera, who plays Tara’s sister Sam. “So now it’s a completely different terrain, which makes it exciting and different, because of New York as a character. The city is a character in the movie, and it I think it just raises the stakes.” 

The reason the franchise has changed location is because the core four have done the same. They’ve moved from the quiet suburbs of Woodsboro to go to college in New York City. But surely they’ll be safer in the busier setting?

“They’re definitely trying to distance themselves from the tragedy that took place in Woodsboro,” Gooding explains. “It’s said in the movie that lightning can’t strike twice, so naturally, they’re going to try and move forward with their personal lives. It isn’t until tragedy finds them again, and they’re thrust back into the Ghostface scenario that they have to regroup and find out how a family can really pull them together.”

Sam ( Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) are in New York and trying to put Woodsboro behind them.

Indeed, family and friends have always been a major component in the Scream franchise (and not just because one of them could always be the murderer) and Scream VI is no different. The relationship of our four main characters are developed in this movie and shows how they’re all coping and coming together in the aftermath of the tragedy that they saw in Scream 2022. 

“I feel like we established the core four a bit more on this one,” Ortega explains. “They’re sibling pairs and I feel like the dynamic between siblings and also the trauma that we all went through last year… It’s been really fun to elaborate that and I feel like we have a stronger base for characters.” 

It’s that strong family connection that Brown hopes audiences take away from the movie when those credits roll (alongside a few thrills, naturally): “I hope that they take away the power of family and that people of colour are very smart and resourceful,” she tells us. “I hope that they’re impressed and that they’re a little bit scared and excited.”

You can find out whether it did just that in our review here.

Scream 6 will be in cinemas on 8 March 2023.