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Scream VI: The Horror of the Modern College Campus

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

When Scream V came out last year, it was no surprise that the renaissance of the cult classic franchise was met with a wave of excitement from fans and newcomers alike. The original 1996 Scream has always been one of my favorite movies of all time, so when Scream V came out in theatres, it was kind of my personal Joker arc.

Unlike many of the other boring sequels that many classic horror franchises have fallen to as of recent years, Scream V was inventive, original, self-aware and funny. I’ve always been a huge horror buff, so when Scream VI was announced, I was obviously excited, but I was nervous too. How many times can you really make the same self-aware jokes and keep things fresh whilst setting the movie in a brand-new place? I wasn’t sure, but I went to see the new film over spring break to find out.

Incidentally, what surprised me the most about Scream VI after I had left the theatre wasn’t Jenna Ortega’s acting skills or the amount of violence and gore that upped the ante in this sequel’s kill count, but the setting of the film itself. Scream as a franchise has always been incredibly self-aware, but placing the newest sequel on a college campus in the middle of New York City somehow makes it even more meta. Gone are the days of no caller ID and not knowing who is on the other end of the line, and here to replace it are chases in crowded subway cars with hundreds of apathetic onlookers and the horrors of online degenerates on social media forums.

Placing the newest Scream on a college campus isn’t only self-aware, it’s poignant for our generation: there’s nothing scarier than real life, which serves as a realization that our generation is completely desensitized to. The best and worst parts of the newest Scream take place in the midst of college life—a character’s main alibi is that he’s in “econ,” for example—and it truly shines throughout the film. We see the worst of our normal lives shown in the media within Scream, and that’s why it feels especially realistic. We’ve all had an instance on public transport where we’ve felt unsafe. We’ve all been to a frat party that takes a wrong turn. We’ve all shared instances with characters that feel a little too much like us—of course, with significantly less Ghostface involvement.

At the end of the day, though, it’s not real life, and that’s why it frightens us so much: Scream VI feels exactly like it. The dialogue is snappy and doesn’t have the outdated feel that many current films and TV shows get when they attempt to emulate modern slang, and the presence of so many core aspects within the life of the everyday college student makes Scream VI feel much more terrifying than a run-of-the-mill horror movie. It’s vivid, exciting, and dangerous, and the frightening reality of the world of Scream VI makes the future of horror look bright.

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Hi! My name is Emmy, and I'm an English major in my freshman year here at Florida State. I love all things involving literature, history, film, and Taylor Swift.