After the success of 2022's "Scream" reboot/sequel (which was titled "Scream" even though it was the fifth instalment), a sixth film was on the table almost immediately. Now, 2023's "Scream 6" made many changes to the iconic franchise.
First off, the film focussed almost entirely on the newer characters introduced in 2022's "Scream." Sidney Prescott was only mentioned by name and never actually appeared, and Gale Weathers didn't play as big of a role as she usually would. "Scream VI" also brought back "Scream 4"'s Kirby Reed as an FBI agent helping Samatha and Tara deal with the newest string of Ghostface killings. On top of those cast shakeups, the film also moved its location to New York City, much like "Scream 2" took Sidney out of Woodsboro and saw her facing down a new set of Ghostface killers in Los Angeles.
Despite all the changes "Scream 6" made, however, the film aimed to be bigger and better than its 2022 predecessor, and it succeeded in a big way. With all the classic "Scream" tropes in full swing, the movie still managed to bring new and fresh ideas to its ongoing story.
Who Is the Ghostface Killer in "Scream 6"?
Most "Scream" movies are notorious for having two killers behind the Ghostface mask. There's always a "main" Ghostface killer and a lackey that the mastermind manipulates into killing alongside them. In the original film, the mastermind was Sidney's boyfriend, Billy Loomis, and his sidekick, Stu Macher.
"Scream 6" threw a wrench into the formula by unveiling not two, but three killers. Technically speaking, only two of them were ever seen actually wearing a Ghostface costume, but since the third member of the team was the mastermind behind the killings, he's going to count as a Ghostface killer.
This iteration of Ghostface links back directly to Richie Kirsch, one of the two Ghostface killers from 2022's "Scream." In this case, it's Richie's family. His father decides to take revenge on Sam for killing his eldest son, and he enlists the help of his two children, college students Quinn and Ethan.
After moving to NYC, Quinn answers an ad to become Tara and Sam's roommate, and Ethan manages to rig the dorm system, so he ends up as Chad's roommate. For months, these two used fake names and identities to earn the trust of the survivor group.
Why Did Ghostface Kill in "Scream 6"?
Although Detective Bailey knows that his son, Richie, was responsible for the killings in the fifth "Scream" film, after seeing the photos of what Sam did to him when she killed him, something inside him breaks. Bailey claims in the film that a father has a special sort of connection with his firstborn son, and although he wasn't a perfect parent, he loved Richie more than anything. What Richie loved the most, however, were the Stab movies — fake films within the "Scream" universe based on Sidney Prescott's life (to a certain extent). As a detective, Bailey was able to gain access to evidence from the actual Ghostface killings, which he slowly collected over the years for his son, fueling his obsession with the Stab movies and the real-life killings that inspired them.
In the present day, Bailey admits he probably over-indulged Richie, but that didn't matter because what Sam did to him was monstrous. Sam didn't just kill Richie to stop him; she stabbed him almost two dozen times, slit his throat, and shot him in the head for good measure. Bailey couldn't let it go, and his grief over the loss of his son infected his other children.
As a family, the trio is determined to kill Sam and frame her for Richie's evil deeds so that the rest of the world would hate her. Quinn gets an early jump on the plan by starting conspiracy theories online that Sam, the daughter of Billy Loomis, was actually responsible for Richie and Amber's murders and that when she killed Richie, she framed him for everything. Unfortunately, the rumours take hold, and Sam's life in NYC has been difficult because people openly treat her like rubbish because they believe she might be the actual Woodsboro murderer.
Bailey never actually wears the Ghostface costume. He leaves the mask-wearing and the killing to Quinn and Ethan while he pulls the strings from the sidelines. As a detective, he has access to crime scenes and information that makes it easy for the trio to evade law enforcement. He also has Quinn fake her own murder early on in the movie to further avoid suspicion (no one will question the grieving father).
"Scream VI" mimicked "Scream 2" heavily. In "Scream 2," Sidney was taken from Woodsboro and placed in Hollywood. The main Ghostface killer ended up being the original Ghostface Billy Loomis's mother, who wanted revenge for her son's death.
Did Any of the Main Characters Die in "Scream 6"?
In an attempt to reassure Sam that they were a team, Chad dubbed the four survivors of "Scream" 2022 "The Core Four." The Core Four includes Sam and her little sister, Tara, as well as Chad and his twin sister, Mindy. Although all four of them sustained serious injuries, and there was a stretch at the end of "Scream 6" when fans were led to believe Chad died at the hands of both Ghostface killers, all four of them ultimately survived.
Although Sidney never appeared in the film, she was mentioned by name a few times. When reports of a new Ghostface emerged, Sidney took her husband and children to a safe location to hide. Both Gale and Sam agreed that she "deserved her happy ending" and that she wouldn't be pulled into this unless she showed up on her own.
Gale was, once again, stabbed inside her NYC condo. While her live-in boyfriend was killed off-screen by Ghostface and thrown through a decorative wall of shelves to intimidate her, Gale managed to hold her own and even outsmart Ghostface a few times during their fight. She sustained multiple stab wounds, but she was rushed to the hospital in time to save her life. Kirby also survived her encounters with Ghostface and successfully helped save both Tara and Sam during the final showdown.
Once again, Ghostface failed to kill any of the main cast. All of the final girls (and boy in Chad) survived to fight another day and, most likely, another Ghostface.
Who Will Be the Next "Ghostface"?
Sam has been struggling with the reality that she is Billy Loomis's daughter and that killing Richie felt "right." At the end of the film, Sam holds her father's old Ghostface mask, which she'd worn earlier when killing Bailey. Ultimately, she drops it in the street and leaves with her sister, but it does make fans wonder if they'll commit to her eventually following in her father's footsteps.