The Last Scream (also known as Scream 6) is a 2023 American slasher film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyley Gillett and is written by Guy Busick and Kevin Williamson, who conceived the story. The film is the official conclusion to the Scream franchise and a follow up to Scream (2022).
The film sees the return of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Kristen Stewart, Sophia Lillis, Judah Lewis, Melissa Barrera, Isabelle Furhman and Jenna Ortega who reprise their role from the previous film. The cast also features Alex Wolff, Ty Simpkins, Noah Schnapp, Bill Hader, Finn Wolfhard, Thomasin McKenzie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Elsie Fisher, China Anne McClain, Brandy Norwood, Victoria Justice, Lulu Wilson, Eduardo Franco, Olivia Holt, Emily Alyn Lind, John Krasinski, Bailee Madison, Selma Blair, James McAvoy, Vera Farmiga, Zoe Colletti, Asher Angel, Elizabeth Banks, Ryan Phillippe and Patrick Dempsey who reprises his role as Mark Kincaid.
The film picks up a year after the previous film with Sidney enjoying the success of her new book as her high school reunion draws near while Casey Miller and her friends starting their senior year at Woodsboro High but tragedy rears it's ugly head as Ghostface returns to make his last stand with Sidney, starting a final massacre that forces Sidney and her old friends to save woodsboro and their children from Ghostface's reign of terror once and for all.
The Last Scream was released on March 31st, 2023 from Paramount Pictures to critical acclaim and becoming a box office success, grossing $467 dollars worldwide, breaking several box office records.
The film opens up with a flashback to the events leading up to Scream (1996), a teenaged Sidney Prescott is seen arguing with Billy Loomis, who is fumed over finding out his father's affair with another woman and he doesn't want to tell Sidney her name. Several harsh words are exchanged and Billy storms off, leaving Sidney heartbroken and confused.
The film then flashes to the present, moments after the massacre at Liv McKenzie's party from the previous fifth film with Tara Carpenter and Brandon Ross discovering Allison Reed's electrocuted corpse in the garage while Sam Carpenter, Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, Dewey Riley, Mandy Meeks and Casey Miller are treated for their injuries at an ambulance as Casey looks over at Brandon and Tara as they emerge from the house to be treated for their respective injuries.
One year later, Sidney has released a second book detailing on the effects of surviving tragedies titled, "From The Heart Of Darkness" and was co-written by Gale who has taken in Mandy as a surrogate daughter and is training her to be a reporter. Meanwhile, Casey and Brandon have become an official couple and Tara becomes Casey's roommate after Sam leaves town for a job offering in San Francisco.
Once the school year at Woodsboro high ends, Sidney receives an invitation to her high school reunion in West Beverly Hills and decides to accept the invitation. Once Sidney tells Casey and Tara of the matter, they decide to tag along with Sidney, bringing Brandon, Mandy and Gale along. Once they reach West Beverly Hills, Sidney meets old friends from her past, Jamie "JD" Swanson, Karen Kolcheck, Melissa Peters, Marcus Nichols, David Carter, Jennifer Robinson and Andrew Himbry, the son of Sidney's old school principal Arthur Himbry and the sherriff of The West Beverly Hills Police.
She is also introduced to their own teenaged children, J.D's paternal twin children Lucas and Lily, Karen's eccentric 15 year old daughter Bailey, Melissa's rebellious 16 year old son Jake, Marcus's spirited 16 year old daughter Jessica, Jennifer's sassy 17 year old daughter Shayla and David's snarky 16 year old son Noah as well as meeting Alice Davidson-Carter, David's wife. Meanwhile, Casey, Brandon, Mandy and Tara explore the beach and meet local teens Lowell "Lolo" Lawson, Jillian Evans, Lindsay Parker and Eric Howards who are very vivid horror fans. While at a beach club, they have a run in with Sidney and her friends along with their children with Casey and Shayla becoming rivals, Brandon becoming great friends with Lucas, Tara becomes attracted to Jillian and Mandy falls for the beach club's cabana boy, Benjamin "Ben" Himbry, who also happens to be Andrew's son.
Alice tells the group that she has booked everyone an expensive beach house not far from the club. By sunset, everyone settles into the beach house with Gale and Mandy booking themselves another beach house three houses down the street. After a fun evening on the beach, Casey and the kids agree to turn in for the night while Jillian, Lindsay, Eric and Lolo return home.
En route to her house, Lindsay is suddenly pursued by a figure driving a black Maserati who chases her into the woods, where she falls down a slope that leads to the beach. Unconscious, Lindsay is dragged away by the figure. Meanwhile, Eric returns home only to be called by the figure who threatens him into answering a horror movie trivia for Lindsay's life. As he hears Lindsay screaming on the other end, Eric gets most of the questions right until he get one question regarding "Black Christmas" wrong which results being attacked by the figure who is none other than Ghostface who throws Lindsay's gutted corpse through the sliding glass doors.
Eric escapes from the house until he is ambushed on the beach by Ghostface who slits him from the throat to the stomach, disemboweling him and finishing him off by stabbing him in his exposed heart. Meanwhile at the beach house, Sidney has a dream like flashback relating from her past with her crying in her bedroom from her fight with Billy only for her mother, Maureen Prescott to enter her room for consolation. After a heart to heart conversation, Maureen leaves as a drunken Cotton Weary arrives at the house for another sexual escapade.
The next morning, Sidney suddenly awakens from her dream and is visited by Detective Mark Kincaid, her ex-boyfriend who informs everyone about the deaths of Lindsay and Eric, whose bodies were found on the beach. At the beach club, Casey, Tara. Brandon and Mandy along with their new friends discuss the deaths with Casey becoming confused due to the fact that she and the others had stopped Ghostface in the last massacre. Lily then concludes that someone is out to replicate what Susan and Stu started in the previous massacre. All the while, Lucas meets Zoey, who is Mark's 14 year old daughter and they share a smoothie while striking up a conversation on horror films.
That evening, the beach house is then put under police protection by Himbry and Mark along with their fellow officers Marley Lopez and Jim Abrams, who are assigned to guard the house. While Sidney catches up with her old friends, Casey, Tara and Brandon get acquainted with Lucas, Lily, Bailey, Jake, Jessica, Noah and Shayla who initially butts heads with Casey.
The kids then watch a horror film marathon with Zoey joining in. The kids then share their favorite horror movies with Shayla's favorite being 1992's Candyman, Jake's favorite being 1992's Dead Alive, Bailey's favorite being 1988's Child's Play, Lily's favorite being 1985's Fright Night, Lucas's favorite being 1987's Hellraiser, Jessica's favorite is 2002's May and Noah's favorite is 2005's Hostel while Zoey's favorite is Dario Argento's 1977 horror classic Suspiria. While watching Suspiria's first death scene, Casey realizes that Eric had been murdered in the exact same fashion as the movie itself then telling the other about her epiphany. Skeptical, Lucas then tells everyone about the rules of the horror legacy sequel:
- The killer must be brutal and merciless and the deaths must be violent with much more gore
- The past must be replicated or revisited get a sense of nostalgia from it's original source
- The body count is much higher than the original
- There are no rules
When Lucas gets done with the rules, Casey gets a call from Ghostface, threatening and taunting her about the last time they met and that he enjoys murdering one of her new friends before hanging up. Terrified, Casey warns Sidney and Himbry about the call and Sidney realizes that Jillian or Lolo might be the next ones to die. Sidney, Casey, Himbry and his fellow officers along with Alice rush to Jillian's house to find her completely safe. Elsewhere, Lolo gets high in his bedroom but Ghostface brutally kills him by stabbing him through the throat with a broken bong.
Sidney and the others arrive at Lolo's house only to find his dead body. Shortly after, Sidney, Alice and Mark are attacked by Ghostface who injures Alice and kills Mark by slashing his throat. As Ghostface closes in on a devastated Sidney, Casey fights him off, forcing him to flee. At the hospital, Alice and Sidney are treated for their injuries as Sidney grieves for Kincaid's death. The next morning, Sam returns from San Francisco after hearing about last night's event from Tara and joins the investigation, much to Gale's annoyance.
With Sam now part of the investigation, Sam theorizes that the killer is finishing what Sarah, Stu and Daniel started last time in Woodsboro. Gale then remembers some files about Roman Bridger at Milton's Mansion during the events of Scream 3. Sidney, Sam, Gale and Andrew decide to head to the mansion to find some answers for the killings with Mandy tagging along .
- Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
- Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
- Kristen Stewart as Presley Ann
- Sophia Lillis as Casey Miller
- Judah Lewis as Brandon Ross
- Isabelle Furhman as Amanda "Mandy" Meeks
- Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter
- Melissa Barrera as Samantha Carpenter
- Roger L. Jackson as the voice of Ghostface
- John Krasinski as Sherriff Andrew Himbry
- Alex Wolff as Benjamin "Ben" Himbry
- Victoria Justice as Deputy Marley Lopez
- Ben Platt as Officer Jim Abrams
- Finn Wolfhard as Lucas Swanson
- Thomasin McKenzie as Lily Swanson
- Bill Hader as Jamie "J.D" Swanson
- LuLu Wilson as Zoey Kincaid
- Elizabeth Banks as Rachel Kirkland-Kincaid
- Patrick Dempsey as Detective Mark Kincaid
- Emily Alyn Lind as Bailey Kolchek
- Selma Blair as Karen Kolcheck
- Elsie Fisher as Jillian Evans
- Eduardo Franco as Lowell "Lolo" Lawson
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Melissa Peters
- Noah Schnapp as Jake Peters
- China Anne McClain as Shayla Robinson
- Brandy Norwood as Jennifer Robinson
- Asher Angel as Noah Carter
- James McAvoy as David Carter
- Vera Farmiga as Alice Davidson-Carter/Leslie Macher
- Zoe Colletti as Jessica Nichols
- Ryan Phillippe as Marcus Nichols
- Bailee Madison as Young Sidney Prescott/Lindsay Parker
- Ty Simpkins as Young Billy Loomis/Eric Howards
- Scream (2022) was originally was supposed to be the series finale to the franchise. When the film became a huge box office smash however, plans of a penultimate follow up were discussed and a few days later, Kevin Williamson decided to craft the film as both a legacy sequel and a series finale. He only wrote a dummy draft similar to what he did with Scream 2 as Guy Busick and James Vanderblit returned to write the film with The Cabin In The Woods director Drew Goddard polishing the script.
- When Neve Campbell read the script, she described it as a "very clever way to end the franchise. Everything about the film is very dark, brutal, smart and really violent. This is one Scream film that could end this franchise with a bang." She eventually signed onto the film.
- Sophia Lillis reprises her role as Casey Miller after initially turning it down for another film.
- Millie Bobby Brown, who played Madison Benson in the previous film, encouraged Finn Wolfhard and Noah Schnapp to sign onto the film after they see the original film, which they did. Wolfhard and Schnapp were cast in the roles as Lucas Swanson and Jake Peters.
- Lily Rabe was offered the role of Alice Davidson-Carter but she turned it down due to scheduling conflicts.
- Kevin Williamson was viewed the rough cut of the film and was so amazed over how it turned out with the majority of the ensemble cast and the film's unpackaging of the original 1996 film, most notably the flashback sequences.
- Patrick Dempsey signed onto the film to reprise his role as Detective Mark Kincaid after labeling the script as "a blood soaked but really gruesome way to end the franchise."
- Bailee Madison and Ty Simpkins signed onto the film in the roles of Lindsay Parker and Eric Howards along with the roles of Sidney Prescott and Billy Loomis for the flashback sequences.
- After working on M. Night Shyamalan's Old and Edgar Wright's Last Night In Soho, Thomasin McKenzie was hesitant about staring in another horror film but when she was offered the role of Lily Swanson, she initially turned it down but she changed her mind upon reading the script.
- For the end credits sequence, Lana Del Ray recorded an acoustic cover of The Cranberries 1993 hit, Dreams while clips of the first five films were used for the sequence.
- Production ran from July 21st, 2022 to September 25th 2022 in Wilmington, North Carolina.
- The Last Scream received critical acclaim from critic upon release for it's ending of the franchise, performances, screenplay and for it's nostalgic elements along with some thematic depth. The film scored a "Certified Fresh" rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes with it's consensus reading, "Pairing emotional thematics with some gruesome set pieces, The Last Scream is the true series finale to one of the most well known horror franchises in horror cinema and benefits from bloody deaths, powerful performances and 90's nostalgia that calls back to the one that started it all".