One of the fun things about the Scream franchise is it’s a series of horror films that are aware they’re horror films. Ever since the original Scream began with Drew Barrymore saying the first Nightmare on Elm Street was scary “but the rest sucked,” even as she was being directed by the first Nightmare’s creator, Wes Craven, these movies have known how to wink at you.
Scream 6 (styled Scream VI in marketing) continues the trend, right down to its very first teaser revealing the sequel is set on Halloween night in New York City. In other words, there will be no shortage of excuses for self-referential easter eggs and nods to other horror movies like Ready or Not, a chiller that was made by the filmmaking collective Radio Silence, including directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett… who are also the helmers of Scream 6.
Radio Silence isn’t the only Scream 6 talent bringing along horror baggage either. While only 20 years old, actor Jenna Ortega appears poised to be Gen-Z’s first scream queen, especially after being one of the primary reasons Wednesday became the Netflix breakout hit of last year. That series saw Ortega star as the famously morose daughter of the Addams Family, and turn into a TikTok sensation overnight after choreographing her own ghoulish dance scene.
Despite Scream 6 wrapping production before Wednesday hit streaming, the slasher franchise will apparently acknowledge this meta-irony too. After all, in the latest issue of Den of Geek magazine, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett admit a major reason the new movies turned out as good as they have is because of Ortega and co-star Melissa Barrera’s performances as the Carpenter sisters. And given that creative kinship, we had to ask if there was an Addams Family or Wednesday easter egg in Scream 6’s subway scene.
“Not in the subway,” Gillett says with a cagey smile. “But there is Addams Family… So much of the tone and the fun of what this movie is, we think, is that all this crazy shit’s happening, but at any moment somebody wearing a ridiculous costume could walk through the shot. That for us is Scream in a nutshell. That the real world can enter and exit this really terrifying experience at any moment. And being in New York on Halloween, there were just so many opportunities for that.”
The directors remained cryptic about what kind of Addams Family easter egg will appear in the movie (or if they’d have the audacity to feature a Wednesday Halloween costume walk by Barrera and Ortega), but the pair are acutely aware of the type of film history the franchise is now wading into, with Scream 6 going to Manhattan for a sequel just like Friday the 13th Part VIII and Home Alone 2 did before it (among others). When asked if Scream 6 will comment on those pop culture echoes, both filmmakers shrug their shoulders and offer a cartoonish wink while saying “maybe!” and “possibly!” in turn.
Gillett adds, “One of the most fun and fertile areas of making any Scream movie is that you get to really play in that space… and this movie presented new opportunities. Honestly, even through post, we’re finding new ways to populate the world with nods and Easter eggs and homages.”
You can read much more about Scream 6 in our in-depth preview from the latest issue of Den of Geek magazine here.
Scream 6 will let fans find out exactly how many when the movie opens only in theaters on March 10.