What Neve Campbell’s Absence In Scream 6 Means for the Franchise
Mar 18, 2023
Scream VI is now in theaters and reviews are rolling in big time for the newest installment. Ghostface is stirring up some trouble in the Big Apple and antagonizing the new cast that we met in Scream (2022), including Sam (Melissa Barrera), Tara (Jenna Ortega), Mindy (Jasmine Savoy Brown), and Chad (Mason Gooding), and Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers will return also. Scream VI is the longest movie in the franchise thus far, giving fans extra opportunity to revel in this meta-horror classic that is taking new routes. The words “In a city of millions, no one hears you scream” are the newest tagline for the sixth film, which is looking like the biggest change-up in the franchise thus far.
Will ‘Scream VI’ Have a New Final Girl?
Image via Paramount
One of the biggest changes we will see in Scream VI is that Neve Campbell is not returning as the beloved final girl, Sidney Prescott. Campbell is not returning to the franchise due to salary issues, but according to Jenna Ortega, there will be so much action and gore that audiences won’t notice. But what will happen to the franchise without Sidney? Die-hard Scream fans everywhere seem to be a little up in arms about the final girl not returning, but could this be a positive change for the franchise going forward? The consensus so far from critics is that the newest Scream movie is bigger, bloodier, and more brutal. Taking Ghostface from the small town of Woodsboro and throwing him or her into the hustle and bustle of New York City makes the slasher seem even larger than life and more powerful.
RELATED: Are We Traitors to Neve Campbell for Going to See ‘Scream VI’?
We Don’t Need Closure
Image Via Paramount Pictures
Unlike Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers in the Halloween franchise, there doesn’t feel like there’s unfinished business between Sidney and Ghostface because Ghostface was never one consistent killer. Fans and viewers lined up to see Halloween Ends for the epic conclusion between Laurie and Michael after years of her surviving and him persisting. We don’t get that same type of long-term connection between Sidney and Ghostface since anyone can don the cloak and mask. From Sidney’s boyfriend to a grieving mother to a long-lost sibling, each Ghostface killer had different motive and reason to stalk and kill.
How would Sidney ever stop Ghostface once and for all if the enigma can be anyone? Someone new came out of the woodwork and took Sidney and the gang by surprise when they found out who it was every film. By this standard, there would never be closure between Sidney and Ghostface, so at what point does she just get to move on with her life? In Scream 5, the script laid the groundwork for her being able to live a life that can be as normal as possible for being Sidney Prescott. The first scene we see her in, she’s running along a boardwalk pushing a stroller and makes reference to being married to Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey) from Scream 3. Even though she’s brought back to Woodsboro for this installment, her presence there is only to be served as the new killer’s attempted legacy kill because of their obsession with the story and it’s survivors. She is no longer the main focus and, really, that’s okay.
Ghostface Can Be Anyone
For the newest installment, this can open up a lot more possibilities for potential killers and create more room for growth as 5 and 6 may be seen as a spin-off to the original franchise instead of a continuation. In Scream 5, we already see a slight difference in direction of motive. Yes, the murders happen in Woodsboro again and yes, Gale (Courteney Cox) and Sidney and Dewey (David Arquette) come back, but the motive is more centered around being a requel or legacyquel with a whole new generation. These Ghostfaces, Richie (Jack Quaid) and Amber (Mikey Madison), find each other on an obsessed fan Reddit and decide they are the ones that need to carry on the legacy of new possibilities. There seems to always be a connection between Ghostface and a previous film, so we can expect the connection to be there even if it’s not with Sidney directly. Fans are also excited that Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) from Scream 4 is back and everyone is wondering what her part will be in the grand scheme of things and if Ghostface will be directly linked to Scream 4 or not.
Image via Paramount
This past Monday at the NYC premiere of Scream VI, Skeet Ulrich spoke about how Neve misses the franchise and thinks its new direction is great, but it was in her best interest to move forward without reprising her role. If the Scream Queen herself can appreciate the direction of the new films, I think audiences are going to love it. Scream VI is in theaters now, but there has been no date given for when it will be available on streaming platforms. In other excellent news for fans, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, one of the newest directors, alluded to the confirmation of a Scream 7 as well as continuing the franchise for the foreseeable future. Here’s to hoping that Ghostface continues to live on in our hearts and on the other end of the landline.
We still see ties in Scream 5 to the OG Ghostface in Billy Loomis’ (Skeet Ulrich) daughter, Sam, but the lack of Sidney may deter audiences from checking it out. If fans can love the Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday The 13th franchises when they took new directions, there is hope for Scream as an entire franchise as well. As we all know, there are certain rules one must abide by to survive a scary movie, and Scream has always stayed true to the formula and delivers in a meta-horror world. Scream 6 has the opportunity to one-up the rest of the franchise by taking it in a bold new direction with more twists, more gore, and more action. Just remember, everybody’s a suspect!
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