SCREAM VI opens March 10th.
A common story element that horror fans like to associate their favorite movie franchises with – outside of its heroes and, especially, its villains – is where they are set. For instance, most of the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies see Jason Voorhees stalking the young counselors at Camp Crystal Lake and HALLOWEEN’s Michael Myers has a deep attachment to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. The brain-teasing, satirical carnage that unfolds in the SCREAM movies can be traced all the way back to a place called Woodsboro.
However, Ghostface – or, more accurately, all the killers who have taken on the identity of the masked murderer – does not operate strictly from the small, fictional California town. In fact, SCREAM VI – one of the most anticipated horror movies coming out in 2023 is expanding its territory in the biggest way yet by bringing the action to one of the biggest cities in the world: New York. Before you get the chance to check out what thrills & chills are in store for the latest installment of the iconic slasher franchise – coming to AMC Theatres Friday, March 10th – let’s explore the locations where Ghostface’s bloodtrail has led us, starting at the beginning.
The 1996 original that started it all – and also brought the slasher subgenre back from the dead as we know it by sending it up – sees the citizens of Woodsboro, California, terrorized by someone taking their love of horror movies a step too far. It is actually a bit hard to believe that we would not see more of Sidney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell) hometown for more than a decade until director Wes Craven came back to the franchise in 2011 with SCREAM 4, which sees Dewey Riley (David Arquette) serving as sheriff.
Keeping in line with the newly minted tradition for horror movie “requels” to always “go back to the original,” 2022’s SCREAM gave us another fresh update on Woodsboro, which Sidney and her former rival, journalist Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), return to after years away when a new Ghostface emerges. By being featured in three out of the six installments so far, the small town remains the quintessential and most recognizable setting of the franchise, but the story tends to get juicier each time we find ourselves somewhere new.
The SCREAM movies wasted no time branching out from Woodsboro by choosing a new setting for its first follow-up, which was released in 1997. SCREAM 2 not only served as a deconstruction of the common tropes associated with horror movie sequels, but also marked the franchise’s transition from teen slashers to collegian slashers.
Theatre major Sidney and film student Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) now attend Windsor College in Ohio, which soon becomes the site of another string of murders following the release of a new movie called STAB, which is inspired by the grisly events they survived just two years earlier. According to MovieLocations.com, Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, served as the on-set surrogate for the also fictional school, which we know would go on to be the setting of STAB 2 considering we witness the making of the in-universe franchise’s third installment in the next SCREAM movie.
All of the SCREAM movies are unified by an often comically self-aware commentary on the state of the horror genre at the time. However, SCREAM 3 – which targets the tropes commonly associated with trilogies – is arguably the most “meta” installment of the franchise thus far, since much of it takes place on an actual movie set in Hollywood.
Released in 2000, this thriller sees Sidney, Dewey, and Gale teaming up with members from the cast and crew of STAB 3 after another killer in a Ghostface mask makes Tinseltown his playground and forces a premature shutdown in production. The movie – the first not penned by SCREAM movies creator, Kevin Williamson – also gives us a faux return to Woodsboro as the film within a film was meant to be set in the town and even features a scene where Sidney tours a set that recreates her old bedroom.
New York City
SCREAM 3 was the first in the franchise to be set in a place that actually exists in reality, which would not occur again for another two decades with the release of the sixth installment. However, SCREAM VI – a direct continuation to last year’s acclaimed sequel – is taking us further away from the West Coast than ever before.
After surviving Woodsboro’s most recent nightmare, Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), her sister, Tara (Jenna Ortega), twins Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding), and Gale seek a fresh start in New York City, only to fall prey to an another psycho in a Ghostface mask who has it out for them and their new friends. Hayden Panetierre returns as her SCREAM 4 role, Kirby, in Radio Silence’s second stab at the franchise. Will we see a few references to 1989’s FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN in this one?
It is always refreshing to see a horror movie franchise literally take its audience to new places – such as when HALLOWEEN H20: 20 YEARS LATER moved Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode to California and the EVIL DEAD movies left the woods for the Middle Ages in ARMY OF DARKNESS and an urban apartment complex for the upcoming EVIL DEAD RISE. The SCREAM movies’ aim to change things up with a new environment in almost each new chapter is key to its enduring legacy. Watch the blood hit the Big Apple when SCREAM VI comes to an AMC Theatres location near you in March.
SCREAM VI opens March 10th.