Hasitha Fernando looks forward to Scream VI with his theories and predictions for the latest chapter of the iconic slasher series…
Over 25 years and still going strong, the Scream franchise continues to offer genuine thrills and chills to audiences the world over. With Scream VI incoming this month, we take a look at how things might go down in this latest installment, as we discuss and analyze the latest theories swirling around the film.
1. The Return of Stu Macher
Of all the theories floating out there and discussed by Scream fans, the possibility of fan favorite character Stu Macher making a return is probably the most anticipated development. In fact, many actually assumed that Stu would make an appearance in Scream 5 but instead what we got was his residence – seen in the original Scream film – being used as the setting of the latest film’s final climax. It was a fun little detail for sure, but I’m sure some fans expected to see actor Matthew Lillard make a comeback as Stu, in the flesh.
All this confusion exists, in part, because Stu’s ultimate fate is never addressed in any of the subsequent Scream sequels, and the canned story penned by franchise scribe Kevin Williamson for Scream 3 also saw the character alive and well! Lillard even addressed this rumor during an interview on the Bob Benedick podcast stating, “From jail, I was kinda masterminding this attack against Sidney but three weeks before we were supposed to start shooting, the Columbine incident took place, and they changed everything. They kind of took the script and threw it to the side.”
Apparently Lillard was even paid an advance fee for Scream 3 before they pulled the plug on that particular iteration of the movie. So, once again, is Stu dead or alive? During a recent interview with Collider Williamson gave a more definitive response about the character saying, “No, he’s definitely dead” but we all know that in the horror genre, baddies always have a way of returning.
2. The Cult of Ghostface
The Cult of Ghostface is another theory that has gotten traction with the announcement of Scream VI, and with the official reveal of a ‘Shrine’ dedicated to the bloody legacy of the Woodsboro murders in the latest trailer for Scream VI this particular theory has once again gained popularity.
During an interview in 2013 with ET, franchise writer Kevin Williamson elaborated on his original plan for Scream 3, stating: “In my original story for Scream 3 the killers were basically a fan club of Woodsboro kids that had formed because of Stab 1 and Stab 2. They were all doing the killings and the big surprise of the movie was when Sidney walked into the house after Ghostface had killed everyone… and they all rose up. None of them were actually dead, and they’d planned the whole thing.”
Sadly, in the aftermath of the Columbine shootout Williamson’s script was discarded – as it was deemed too violent and the studio wanted to avoid a potential backlash from the public – in favor of franchise new comer Ehren Kruger’s draft.
Now, if ever there’s a better time to repurpose this particular concept Scream VI would be the best opportunity, and it seems that certain elements might have actually been worked into the story by writers Gary Busick and James Vanderbilt, as evidenced by the newest Scream VI trailer. There appear to be more than one Ghostface (maybe even three), then there is the whole ‘Shrine’ business which certainly lends credence to the existence of a cult of some sort.
But if the ‘Shrine’ and its gory memorabilia are the real deal, it does beg the question as to how the Ghostface killers got hold of ‘em in the first place…unless one of them have some connection to law enforcement, and there are two characters with such a background in Scream VI, namely Kirby Reed – who now apparently works for the FBI – and the cop played by actor Dermot Mulroney. In an interview with Screenrant last year, Mulroney confirmed that he’s playing a cop who has a “deep connection with the Ghostface killer.” We won’t know what this really means until Scream 6 hits theatres in March, but it’s certainly fun to speculate right?
3. The Motive
With all evidence pointing to final girl icon Neve Campbell not returning for Scream VI, it’s quite likely the motive for the latest killing spree will center, in some way, around Gale Weathers. In the recent Scream VI trailer we even see the legacy character getting the infamous ‘phone call’ from Ghostface, which itself is a first in this longstanding franchise. The motives of Ghostface killers in the past, have ranged from good ol’ fashioned revenge (Scream 1, 2 and 3), the compulsion to redefine slashers (Scream 4 and 5) to other reasons such as serial killer tendencies or pathological jealousy (Scream 2 and 4).
Looking at the aforementioned pattern, one does get the feeling that once again the story will try to incorporate an element of revenge, as a possible motive. Could it be an ex-news reporter with an axe to grind with Gale or could it be from Sam Carpenters past? Afterall, the latter’s time away from Woodsboro is shrouded in mystery. It’s also possible that this’d be another attempt to redefine slashers; by a group of true-crime fanatics enamored with the Woodsboro murders (hence, the ‘Shrine’) or with the Ghostface killers themselves (The Cult of Ghostface).
4. A Different Ghostface
The marketing for Scream VI, especially concerning a Ghostface donning a worn-out mask, does lean heavily to the fact that at least one of the killers have a major connection with Woodsboro’s dark past. It’s difficult to state the origin of the battered mask, but based on its design it resembles the more streamlined Ghostface mask from Scream 4 and with Kirby Reed joining the proceedings for Scream VI, chances are the banged-up mask either belonged to Jill Roberts or Charlie Walker.
The promotional material also showcased Ghostface holding a loaded shotgun and stalking his prey, which was unusual to say the least, but the new trailer offered some context to the killer’s strange behavior. Bear in mind, it’s not unusual to see a Ghostface killer brandishing a firearm, it’s just that it is the first time we are seeing the character doing so while wearing the mask. The Ghostface in Scream VI also seems to be more brutal, having no qualms on picking off people unrelated to his targets.
Another detail which stood out in the trailer was Ghostface’s bold proclamation that he’s “different” and the coldly efficient manner in which he goes about committing the murders. Kinda like a guy with a history of military or law enforcement training. So, all evidence does indeed point to a Ghostface who is different, but also one who won’t commit the same mistakes committed by previous killers… and that is a genuine cause for concern.
5. The Suspects
The killer reveal is one of the most talked about aspects in the Scream movies. And it is here that the audience finds out who’s behind the mask and the motives for their dastardly deeds. As fans of the franchise however, we love to speculate as to who’d be the perps before the film debuts. The Scream VI trailer released recently certainly stirred up the rumor mill quite a bit, and some of the moments which put the Carpenter sisters front and center, had a lot of people thinking if one of them maybe the killers.
Sure, Sam being the illegitimate daughter of Billy Loomis definitely makes her a suspect, as does some of the character’s strange tics (head tilt and what not) and her having the beat-down mask in her possession as shown in the trailer, but my personal opinion is that this a misdirect. However, the scene where we see Tara hanging on to Sam’s bloodied hands whilst looking up and giving an apparent smirk is certainly weird.
Maybe Tara goes dark side and she’s the mastermind behind the attacks, manipulating the killers from afar? Definitely a possible scenario since Sam was the one responsible for Tara’s dad’s departure and as Billy Loomis so eloquently puts it “(maternal) abandonment causes serious deviant behavior”, so maybe Sam’s revelation was too much for Tara to handle?
Two other characters I highlighted before were Kirby Reed and Dermot Mulroney’s character, and this was because of their background in law enforcement. I’ve detailed my reasoning for suspecting the pair in the previous segments, so I won’t go into it again. The other possibility is that we’ll get another Scream 2 sort of situation, where we have a Mrs. Loomis type character hiding in plain sight, who is then revealed to be the mastermind. Mission: Impossible alum Henry Czerny would certainly be a good fit to play a role like that. We do know that he’s either playing a therapist (maybe Sam’s therapist) or a professor (at the fictitious Blackmore University they are all attending), but either way it should be a character that has the ability to get close to Sam or our group of survivors and cunningly manipulate them to achieve his ends.
As always though, this is only mere speculation and conjecture until we get to watch Scream VI in all its bloody glory come March 2023. In the meantime, be sure to let us know your theories and predictions…
Scream VI is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Oplin and Tyler Gillett, who reunite with Scream 2022 cast members Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Jenna Ortega and Mason Gooding. Franchise mainstay Courteney Cox and Scream 4’s Hayden Panettiere also return, alongside new additions including Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), Dermot Mulroney (Hanna), Jack Champion (Avatar: The Way of Water), Liana Liberato (The Beach House), Devyn Nekoda (Ghostwriter), Josh Segarra (Arrow), Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One) and Tony Revolori (Spider-Man: No Way Home).
Hasitha Fernando is a part-time medical practitioner and full-time cinephile. Follow him on Twitter via @DoctorCinephile for regular updates on the world of entertainment.