Moving to New York can be tough business.
But what if you had to deal with cramped apartments, outsized rodents, and a masked maniac who wants to stab you to death? That's the situation that faces Scream (2022) survivors who have relocated from Woodsboro, Calif. to NYC in Scream VI (out March 10).
"These kids are running away, and Ghostface is still finding them in the most beautiful city but also the most terrifying because it's so crowded and it can be aggressive," says cast member Melissa Barrera.
Courteney Cox, reprising the role of crime reporter Gale Weathers, whom she first played way back in 1996's franchise-inaugurating Scream, agrees that the new setting ups the ante for the cast of characters.
"Bringing Ghostface to New York adds an entirely new element to the story," says the actress. "Taking the character out of a small town and putting them in the heart of the city that never sleeps is more terrifying than ever."
The shot-in-Montreal film finds Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Chad (Mason Gooding), and Tara (Jenna Ortega) attending college, with Tara's sibling Sam (Barrera) tagging along to New York in an attempt to protect her sis.
"At the top of the film we see my character Tara avoiding her trauma and desperately trying to reclaim her teenage experience and become normal college student," says Ortega. "There's a lot of tension between her and Sam, she feels as though she's too protective and unwilling to allow them both to move on. She feels suffocated."
"Not a lot of time has passed since the last movie," adds Barrera. "Pretty much, the amount of time that we've had between one movie and the other is the amount of time that has passed in their world. So the trauma is still very fresh. One of my favorite parts about this movie is that we really get to see how the happenings of the last movie affected them. We get to really see the baggage that they're carrying now and how each of them is dealing with it differently."
As usual, the latest Scream film has no shortage of new characters, with the list of newbie franchise actors including Tony Revolori, Samara Weaving, and Dermot Mulroney.
"I have loved Dermot Mulroney forever," says Barrera. "Such a huge fan. He always had the best energy on set and had everyone laughing. It was just a beautiful thing to have him come in."
Weaving starred in Ready or Not, the 2019 horror-comedy from Scream VI directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who included a tip of the hat to her character from that film in the recent Scream VI teaser trailer.
"When I first saw Samara on set, they were shooting footage of the background actors walking in the subway, all dressed for Halloween," says Ortega. "There's a lot of Easter eggs in the costumes, and one of them was Samara's character from Ready or Not, and right as I approached the monitor next to Samara, her old character walked by. It was just a strange coincidence."
Scream VI also sees the return of Hayden Panettiere's horror movie-loving Scream 4 character and fan favorite Kirby Reed, who was last seen twitching in a pool of her own blood after being stabbed by Rory Culkin's villainous Charlie Walker.
"She's come a long way," says Panettiere of Kirby. "What happened to her has obviously impacted her life, and it sends her in a certain direction, but she's still the same old Kirby at the heart of it. She's just a little older, a little wiser, but just as spitfire-y, and snarky, and all that good stuff."
The actress admits that it was a little strange entering a situation in which she was both a veteran of the franchise and a new kid to the current Scream set-up.
"Yeah, I felt a little left out," says the Heroes and Nashville star. "It's true. I did feel a little like I had to find my way back into the new group because that crew had done the prior film. But they were all so welcoming. It was interesting, they made me part of their family that I had already been a part of. [Laughs] So it was like an estranged aunt came back into the fold!"
Scream VI also stars Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Devyn Nekoda, Tony Revolori, and Josh Segarra. The film is written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, produced by William Sherak, Vanderbilt, and Paul Neinstein, and executive produced by Kevin Williamson, Gary Barber, Peter Oillataguerre, Chad Villella, Cox, Ron Lynch, Cathy Konrad, and Marianne Maddalena.
Scream VI hits theaters March 10. See exclusive first-look images from the upcoming slasher flick above.
Pick up a copy of Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Scream, available online.
Ghostface stalks the streets of New York in the sixth installment of the iconic horror franchise.