Horror film: "Scream 6": Best popcorn horror cinema

The first part of the cult "Scream" horror film series is more than a quarter of a century old.

Horror film: "Scream 6": Best popcorn horror cinema

The first part of the cult "Scream" horror film series is more than a quarter of a century old. Wes Craven has been dead for almost eight years, as the director responsible for parts one to four of "Scream". Part one is from 1996. It was supposed to give fresh impetus to the US horror genre that had become sluggish, heralding in a new era of horror films. The series is still popular today, and the fifth "Scream" received surprisingly good reviews in 2022.

Today, "Scream" is considered a showpiece of self-referential horror films. Films that not only want to shock, but are cleverly aware of the rules of the genre, question them, even parody them. This also applies to the sixth part of the series that is now starting, which, in addition to Courteney Cox ("Friends"; she was already in the first film), comes up with actors like Jenna Ortega from the popular "Netflix" series "Wednesday". Some fans could be sad that leading actress Neve Campbell is not part of the bloody knife game this time.

Mixture of horror film, crime drama and comedy

In 1996's first "Scream," Drew Barrymore's character was put through a self-referential horror-movie-themed question-and-answer game. An unknown caller threatens to finish off her boyfriend, who is tied up on the patio, if she loses the insidious game. After the death of this very friend, the killer camouflaged with a white mask also hunts her down: And her parents, they only find her corpse.

The first "Scream" was a curious and fascinating mixture of horror film, crime drama and comedy, a clever game with all those set pieces that make the US horror flick as brilliant as it is predictable. But, and this also applies to the sequel that has now been launched: You can enjoy "Scream" even if you haven't seen Hitchcock's "Psycho" or Wes Craven's "A Nightmare on Elm Street", if John Carpenter's "Halloween" says just as little to you like Brian De Palma's "Carrie".

"Scream 6" happily continues the self-referential game - right at the beginning, a film professor has to lose her life in a splendidly staged sequence after she was asked on the phone (you know that!), among other things, what her favorite thing is -Scary streaks. Here the directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (who are also responsible for the predecessor from 2022) show what they can do with very simple and yet highly effective means (classic: the dark alley). This is scary and yet fun; best American popcorn chill cinema.

A little too much self-referentiality

At times, however, the new "Scream" overdoes it with all its references and references. The skilful gameplay and the thematization of genre conventions are definitely one of the unique selling points of this horror series - but at times the new "Scream" threatens to get tangled up in its self-referentiality. After all, even the number 96, which is emblazoned here on a New York subway wall, must be understood as a nod to the legendary debut, launched in 1996.

In any case, in the sixth installment of the horror franchise, the four survivors of the notorious Ghostface killer's latest series of murders leave their hometown of Woodsboro behind to herald a new chapter in New York. You share a shared apartment with other roommates – of course, the student exhilaration (including excessive parties) doesn’t last long.

The Ghostface murderer (or is it more than one?) also drives his funny fear game in the Big Apple. And that in a city where everyone is wearing horror masks anyway, whether on the street or in the subway: New York celebrates Halloween; alleged killers romp about in the most famous city in the world.

The horror genre is alive and kicking

Despite all its weaknesses, this sequel also shows why the horror film is a fascinating genre and, despite all the clichés (here, too, everything boils down to a rather tiring final battle), simply cannot be killed.

Local Screamians can also count themselves lucky: the sixth part of this subtle and commercially successful series (estimated total gross of all previous parts: more than 700 million US dollars) starts a day earlier in Germany than in the USA.