Warning: This article contains spoilers for Scream 6.Scream 6‘s screenwriters have broken down the motivations of the film’s new Ghostface killers. The film, which takes place in New York City, follows the survivors of Scream 2022 as they make their way to college at Blackmore University. They band together with fellow survivors Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) to fight back against a new Ghostface, eventually learning that the killers behind this new spree are Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) and his children Ethan (Jack Champion) and Quinn (Liana Liberato), seeking revenge for the death of third sibling Richie (Jack Quaid) in the previous film.
Entertainment Weekly sat down with writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick to break down the Scream 2 Easter eggs – both intentional and unintentional – in the newly released Scream 6. One thing they discussed was the way that the family revenge motive mirrored Mrs. Loomis’ killing spree in 1997’s Scream 2. Rather than just mimicking that film just because, they found it more “primal and emotion-based” to “[pit] two families against each other” in the third act of the film. Read Busick’s full quote below:
Because the motive of the killers in [2022’s] Scream was about an idea — toxic fans killing people to provide new source material for their favorite franchise which they felt had gone off the rails — we wanted the motive in VI to be primal and emotion-based. When we landed on Richie’s family coming after Sam for revenge for killing Richie, it felt right. Although we’d seen an unhinged parent coming after our hero for revenge in 2, we had never seen a full family of psychos. The movie is ultimately about pitting two families against each other: the Baileys vs. the Carpenters and their found family, the Meeks-Martin twins.
Scream 6’s Ghostface Killers Weren’t Merely Copycats
Each new killer or set of killers in the Scream franchise is putting on the mantle of Ghostface for a particular reason. Usually this pertains to tormenting final girl Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) or emulating the Stab films, which were inspired by the events of the previous entries. This continued in the most recent film, when Richie’s Scream killing spree was meant to provide the source material for an improved Stab sequel.
However, Vanderbilt and Busick successfully captured their more primal revenge angle this time around. From the opening sequence where Ghostface asks “who gives f–k about movies?” it becomes clear that the stakes are very different this time around. Eventually, it comes to light that the Kirsch family’s plan is not only born out of revenge, but out of a deep love for Richie rather than horror films
The reason their revenge has taken this particular shape is because Richie loved the Stab films and they seek to honor his life by killing Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) in the shrine he compiled in the name of that love. The fact that their devotion is to him rather than Stab explains the different tenor of Ghostface’s spree in Scream 6. This divide between Ghostface and their typical horror tropes makes the killer’s actions even more unpredictable, putting the Scream survivors in even more danger than they’ve ever been before.
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