‘Scream 6’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

The Scream franchise is possibly the greatest horror franchise of all time because it is consistent. Even though all the Scream films have the same structure, it has always been about the experience with Ghostface throughout the film rather than the final reveal. That being said, Scream 6 goes back to the roots of what made the Scream franchise so entertaining to watch in the first place. The journey we go on with the “Core 4”; Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barerra), Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding) and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) is a wild ride from beginning to end. The gang moves from Woodsboro to New York City, where they think they will be safe so Tara can take her shot at a normal life. However, social media has painted Samantha Carpenter so badly that she can’t escape her past. 

Scream 6 captured the same essence as the original film because there was a strong balance between brutal kills and funny dialogue. Co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett presented the tough, gritty streets of New York City in Ghostface. They needed to show a darker side of Ghostface to parallel Sam Carpenter’s journey in this film. When we see our “Core 4” again, Sam is cycling through therapists to try and work through the thoughts in her head, Tara is in university making some poor choices, and the twins are trying to protect both of them. In a way, they created their own family just like Sidney, Gale, and Dewey did. The “Core 4” are new to this way of life and learned to lean on each other in this instalment. Co-writers James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick and Kevin Williamson focused more on Sam’s journey with Tara than having the pressure of writing something for the legacy characters.

The Scream franchise relies on references and tropes to shape the current instalment they’re working on. In Scream 6, they do just that by referencing previous Scream films in the franchise and the stepping stones to the grand reveal were perfect. It made for some very funny moments and great banter between returning characters like Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and the new characters in the franchise. The journey may have been suspenseful, well-written and cheeky, but the third act didn’t stick the landing. The reveal felt predictable, and the explanation overstayed its welcome. However, the strength lies in Barrera and Ortega’s performances as they’ve grown as sisters. The ending creates a strong arc for Sam Carpenter, which opens a door of possibilities for the writers to flip the script on the franchise. Even though it didn’t deliver on the reveal, the third act affects Sam and makes it all worth it. 

Scream 6 has inventive kills, hilarious dialogue, and a strong build-up. This is one of the most entertaining Scream films since the original. The opening sets the tone for the rest of the film as it establishes the nature of New York City and the present-day social climate. This franchise has always made fun of those serious about the horror genre and films in general. It’s a step in the right direction after the transitional film that was Scream 5 to introduce a new set of characters. This instalment proves that Sam and Tara can stand on their own without any legacy characters involved. Even though the ending doesn’t stick the landing, the takeaway is that the characters feel more like family. This story is geared more towards Sam and Tara Carpenter and the realization that they will never be able to live a normal life because their past will always come back to haunt them. 

‘Wednesday’ Series Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

When it comes to cult classics The Addams Family is one of them. Americans got to know the family as a comic in The New Yorker in 1938. After comic artist Charles Addams died in 1988, The Addams Family became public domain and has been adapted into films, television shows, and even video games. In 1991, Barry Sonnenfeld revamped The Addams Family for a new audience, who brought some campy goodness to the characters. Even though the cast was iconic, there was just something about Wednesday Addams, played by Christina Ricci. She was the most interesting character and had so much to do. After Ricci dominated the role, it wasn’t touched again until now. Director Tim Burton and Jenna Ortega presented a new side of Wednesday Addams in the Netflix series Wednesday. 

In this series, Wednesday is up to her destructive ways as she protects her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) from bullies at school. Now, the Addamses have been integrated into society for a while. They have been at a regular middle school, and Wednesday hasn’t been the most approachable. By defending her brother, she gets expelled and is sent to Nevermore Academy. The catalyst for Wednesday’s story is her connection with her mother Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She doesn’t t want to be like her at all, and now by going to the school she graduated from, she wants nothing to do with her legacy. This series explores Wednesday’s individuality and tough exterior. As each episode passes, she becomes softer because she begins caring for her friends around her. She does understand that it’s important for her to make friends, but she remains guarded. 

As Wednesday navigates through this new school, she uncovers more about her family than she had hoped. While people are investigating her, including her therapist, she is tracking a different case entirely. The deeper she goes into uncovering the truth about her parents, the more people end up helping her. It’s wonderful to see Wednesday in a different light in this series. Ortega was made for this role, and she understood the emotional depth she needed to bring to the character. Wednesday was never heartless, and she would fight for her loved ones fearlessly. That is how she builds her relationships at Nevermore. Even if she’s cold and a bit of a sociopath, she is still humorous. Without Ortega boosting the script as she commands the screen, the other characters somewhat fall flat. It’s hard to set up a well-known character in a new environment and develop others around them. 

Tim Burton’s Wednesday is a fun addition to the franchise, and Jenna Ortega is a bonafide star. The pairing is a match made in heaven, as Ortega explores Wednesday’s psyche, and Burton presents a new fantastical world for her to play in. The pacing of this series is probably its biggest issue, as some episodes drag a bit. The episodes that have Morticia and Gomez (Luis Guzmán) are placed at the right moments to push Wednesday forward into the investigation. Wednesday does feel less alone at Nevermore Academy because she can connect with others who are different. She taps into her supernatural powers, which helps her understand odd things that happen around the area. Two stories flow into each other, and it would have been better if there wasn’t so much excess. It’s a fun series that takes a bit to get going, but once it does, these characters help Wednesday become a different person by the end of it.