2. Scream VI (2023)
If its previous instalment was a massive success, then it makes sense that the next instalment would take things even further. The newest Scream film is arguably the most ambitious one to date, which is why it ranks so high on this list. Compared to any of the previous instalments, this is the film with the highest stakes.
Scream VI tantalizingly moves Ghostface and our characters out of the suburbs of Woodsboro and into bustling New York City during the weekend of Halloween. Not only that but the killer — or killers — were visibly more brazen in their actions in this instalment, as they attacked the Carpenter sisters in a bodega, killing multiple customers and even brandishing a shotgun instead of the usual knife. And we can’t forget about how the film subverted exp expectations on the traditional opening kill scene, but having one Ghostface killed by another one.
In addition to upping the stakes, the film also further develops Samantha’s character as she contends with being related to the original Ghostface. Her storyline brilliantly blends her sincere love for her sister with her bloodlust, while having to navigate the rumors that she mastermind the killing spree in the previous instalment. All of this makes for a compelling character to watch, especially as Samantha emerges in these two instalments as the new Sidney and heroic counterpart to Ghostface.
Not only does the film explore Samantha’s burgeoning storyline, but it further cements the core four – Samantha, Tara, Mindy and Chad (Mason Gooding) as the future of the franchise. There’s no replacing Sidney, Gale and Dewey, but these four do a fine job at guiding the franchise forward.