Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
|2 hr. 3 min.
|Year of Release:
March 10, 2023 (wide release)
DVD: July 11, 2023
Brutal serial killers
What is THE FINAL JUDGMENT OF GOD? Answer
Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
Living with post traumatic stress syndrome
Melissa Barrera … Sam Carpenter
Courteney Cox … Gale Weathers
Jenna Ortega … Tara Carpenter
Jasmin Savoy Brown … Mindy Meeks-Martin
Mason Gooding … Chad Meeks-Martin
Hayden Panettiere … Kirby Reed
Samara Weaving … Laura Crane
Dermot Mulroney … Detective Bailey
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Project X Entertainment
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|Paramount Pictures Corporation, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS
Bloody serial murders, excessive immorality
What’s your favorite scary movie?
If you’re from Woodsboro, it just happens to be the movie “Stab” and maybe if you ask the locals, the Stab sequels and “re-quels.” For sisters Sam and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), and their friends Mindy and Chad, just mentioning even the word “stab” brings a horrible taste in their mouth.
In fact, ever since barely escaping with their lives from the murderous Ghostface killer, Ritchie, The Core Four (as Chad calls their group) have moved to New York City to try and start over, well at least three of them are. Sam (Melissa Barrera) is still very much traumatized by the events and can’t quite loosen her protective reins over Tara since those fateful events. Mindy and Chad, well, they’re doing the best with a bad situation.
To top it all off, Gayle Weathers (Courteney Cox), in Gayle-like fashion, wrote another book about the event but went on to claim that perhaps Sam was also involved behind the murders, considering she is the daughter of the late Billy Loomis, the Ghostface killer from the first “Scream” film.
In any case, things seem relatively fine until news breaks out that a woman has been brutally stabbed to death in an alleyway not far from Sam and Tara’s apartment. What’s more is that this woman was a professor who taught a horror film studies college class that Tara was attending. Coincidences? There are none.
Looks like Ghostface is on the rampage again, and this time it really could be anyone…
This afternoon, out of pure foolishness, I misread the showtime for “Scream 6,” and I arrived at the theater over 45 minutes early. I took time to speak to the father and son behind me, as well as jotted down some research on all the Scream films from the past, just some general thoughts I wanted to keep in mind for today’s review. Having had seen every one since the first “Scream” film and even the “Scream” series (yes there was a series), I thought I knew everything about the franchise. I was wrong though.
Over the past 30 years the franchise has existed, there have been four different directors for the six films (we won’t even get into the series). Each director has added their own touch to each film. One focused their directing style on drawing out character development. Another focused on how they wanted their cameras to negate certain aspects of a scene to leave the viewer in suspense/disbelief or uncertainty or for scenes to move at such a pace you’re purposely meant to miss something. Then there is the director who combined these elements, but also says, like the “Halloween” franchise, “Let’s take all the violence in the world and throw it up on the big screen.”
“Scream 6” is a stain on the world and a stain on all that is pure and good. The level of violence on display in is an absolute abomination to the Lord. We have every form of violence you can think of on display: slow, graphic stabbings (too numerous to count), head bashings, people being executed, shot to death, etc. It makes the violence in “Halloween Kills” look like a day at the park.
I’m not quite sure what Hollywood is doing right now with these “horror” films; first the “Halloween” films, now “Scream.” What drew me into the “Scream” films was the joke on all things horror film. Now the films are simply violent for the sake of being violent. There is even one scene (a character falls from a great height, hits her head on a dumpster and has her face smashed in and dies) where everyone shouted “Oh my gosh.” It’s like Mindy says in the film, “In a franchise you have to outdo the film that came before it to get people to come back.” Is this really the case though? Well, the directors seem to think so. Melissa Barrera, who plays Sam, stated the following…
“There was a saying on set because directors Matt [Bettinelli-Olpin] and Tyler [Gillett] were always asking for more blood and more sweat,” Barrera said. “They always just wanted more. ‘More blood spritz’ was the saying because they would just always want more.” “With the last “Scream,” they were tip-toeing and trying to be very respectful of what the series had been, up until that point, and keeping their inner gory dreams at bay,” Barrera added. “But with this one, they were like, ‘We're going all out.’ It’s potentially a hundred times gorier.”
What’s even more sad about this statement is that the directors wear this statement as a badge of honor, as if they won a gold medal in the Horror Olympics. Additionally, there is a plethora of vulgar language, sexual content, moments pertaining to LGBTQ relationships and several moments of alcohol use.
VIOLENCE: Extreme. I will not list every violent action in this film as it is exhaustive and inappropriate. However, a girl is stabbed multiple times, and we witness her corpse in the alley. In another very disturbing scene, we are shown a male, decapitated corpse inside a fridge, twice (all major body parts shown). Someone shares a graphic retelling of the events from the last film. Multiple people are shot and stabbed in a convenience store (one execution-style with a shotgun). A rack is toppled onto someone. People are punched in the face with items. Someone is slammed in the door multiple times then stabbed in the face through the nose. A character is stabbed in the chest, and we watch the murderer draw the blade upward through their chest. We see a bloodied corpse in a bathtub. Someone is seen losing a lot of blood. A girl hits her head in a fall from a great height and hits a dumpster, landing on the ground. A character is killed offscreen. A character is severely stabbed in the chest (not killed). In a final sequence, characters are shot, stabbed in the most graphic ways. One person falls off a balcony. One person is stabbed in the eye. Someone says a person becomes “less human each time they are stabbed. They just become meat.”
SEXUAL CONTENT: There are two outward, homosexual couples in the film. One shares a passionate kiss and a fake kiss. Tara and a male kiss. Someone mentions dying a virgin. Another couple kiss a few times. A third couple have a secret, sexual relationship. We hear a couple moaning on the other side of a wall and the female character says “you need to have variety in life.” Someone is called a “sl*t.”
NUDITY: Female characters wear revealing clothing at times, one girl in pajamas. Chad is seen as a shirtless cowboy. A horror movie on TV displays a young woman who is partially nude. Her top is torn open, and we see a bit of the side of her breast briefly.
ALCOHOL: A character takes a shot of vodka at the bar. Other characters are seen drinking heavily, with some at a house party. One character is so drunk she is almost coerced into having sex.
OTHER: We witness bloody crime scenes. Someone steals a cop car. Someone has soda thrown on them for no reason.
There was one lesson I could draw out of all this darkness. In a moment of peace in the film, Mindy tells The Core Four that people are always out to destroy someone’s character for some reason. This is called slander.
Slander is actually mentioned in the Bible, side by side with gossip. It is a variation on lying and destroying someone’s reputation, with or without proof, and is not something God honors. Our conversations are supposed to be full of “grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:6). Additionally…
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” —Ephesians 4:31-32
Slander is even one of the Ten Commandments!
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” —Exodus 20:16
So use our words in kindness, in peace, in love—as Christ would want us to. Honor Him in our thoughts, our words and our actions, each and every day by refraining from spreading lies and gossip about each other.
Six films, 688 minutes. That’s the total length of all six “Scream” films. When I look at that number, 688, I have to wonder if it couldn’t have been better spent doing something much more spiritually edifying than partaking in the absolute horrific display I’ve viewed in the past twenty or so years.
So many people will flock to “Scream 6,” as there are guest appearances from returning characters from previous films as well as an incredible, genuine twist at the conclusion of the film. Apart from the violence, the film does stand as a step up from last year’s film and miles beyond ">“Scream 3” and 4, but “Scream 6” as a whole is a spiritually toxic environment for all Christians of every age.
In short, I do not recommend “Scream IV” to Christians of any age. The filmmaking quality stars also do NOT warrant a recommendation; the stars are based on cinematography and overall quality ALONE. This is an absolute waste of everyone’s time. Do yourself a favor and see something more encouraging like “Jesus Revolution.” We need more films like THAT, not this.
Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions
Every time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.