"Scream" (2022) survivors Tara (Jenna Ortega), Sam (Melissa Barrera), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), and Chad (Mason Gooding) probably thought they were making a very clever decision when they left Woodsboro behind for New York. In their defense, it's pretty reasonable assumption to make that a big city setting will make them a lot safer. The Big Apple is about as different from Woodsboro as can be — and anyway, what kind of maniac continues to hang out in the small town where a number of Ghostface-clad serial killers have gone on a murderous rampage? Well, besides Sidney Prescott.
Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than a change of setting to avoid stumbling into a sequel. When Sidney wasn't busy hanging around her basically haunted hometown, she was desperately chasing a change of pace. "Scream 2" caught up with her in an Ohio college, and Ghostface still came a-knocking. In "Scream 3," she abandoned small-town vibes for Hollywood, and a new Ghostface still found her. So, no. Running away to New York will not free the "Scream" survivors from being chased by Ghostface — in fact, all they've really done is enable filmmakers Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin in their plan to construct the twistiest "Scream" movie yet.
"We don't want Scream VI to be a retread of Scream 5," Gillett said in an interview for the March 2023 Issue of Total Film. "And there's really nothing more different to Woodsboro than New York City. Just setting it there immediately gave the entire project a different tone and a feel and an energy that translates throughout the movie."
New York. New Rules.
If the goal is to take the franchise into new and interesting territory, then consider the mission already accomplished. Many Ghostfaces have shocked, skewered, and slashed their way through this franchise — but none have dared to do so in New York City. This changes everything.
This might just be my own NYC bias speaking, but a sleepy, creepy town like Woodsboro isn't scary in the same way that a big city is. Just because things are bright and always moving, doesn't mean there isn't a robe-wearing weirdo waiting just around the corner with a penchant for violence. The latest trailer for "Scream VI" shows that being in the big city makes the franchise killer much more brazen: forget creeping around a lonely, two-story suburban house — this Ghostface is wholly willing to sprint into a bodega wielding a knife, witnesses be damned!
For Olpin, Gillett, and screenwriters James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, this is the most exciting prospect of the movie. As a team, the four of them zeroed in on what NYC-specific scenes, set pieces, and tensions could be exploited for the sake of fun and fear.
"One of the fun parts of developing the script was: 'What are the sequences that feel so iconic to New York that they can only exist in this movie?'" Gillett told Total Film. "That was the carrot that was dangled in front of us. Our imaginations were running wild with how many cool, potential set-pieces there could be just based on what that city can offer."
Ghostface Is Killing It In NYC
Dare I ask how Ghostface will defile the Statue of Liberty? Who exactly will be dripping blood all over the stacks of The Strand? I can't imagine we get through this movie without at least one character getting murdered in a yellow taxi (or at least an uber) and speaking of transportation, isn't the subway scary enough without the Woodsboro killer hiding in plain sight?! For the "Scream VI" team, all of those horrifying possibilities were simply inspirations. Gillet explained:
"We talked specifically about the kills, and wanting to design things that are so distinct in their identity that you can say, 'Oh, that's the garage-door kill.' The locations within New York really lend themselves naturally to those very identifiable, very distilled, fun concepts. There are a handful of really intense, really unique set-pieces in this."
Prepare to see Ghostface leave their bloody mark all over New York City when "Scream VI" arrives in theaters on March 10, 2023. The March 2023 issue of Total Film hits shelves on Thursday, February 2.
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