How the 'Scream' franchise has continued to influence horror films

"Scream 6" will take the decades-old franchise to a new city, while continuing its legacy of introducing new fans to slashers.
Posted at 8:48 PM, Mar 09, 2023

"Scream 6" slashes into theaters Friday, March 10, adding more blood and gore to the long-legacy of the iconic horror franchise.

"I like that with its kind of meta-storytelling, it can kind of reflect the current landscape of horror," said Jordy Sirkin, a horror film critic.

When "Scream" first debuted in 1996, it defied the horror tropes and cliches of its slasher predecessors. In the film's iconic first 12 minutes, "Scream" killed off its big-name actress, Drew Barrymore, and subverted its audiences' expectations for the rest of the story.

"Scream" was praised for its self-awareness of its genre, and critics today say it paved the way for modern horror films like "Get Out" and "Promising Young Woman," both of which won the Academy Awards for best original screenplay. 

Since 1996, the franchise added four more movies, making more than $400 million at the domestic box office.

In 2022, the fifth "Scream" film introduced a new generation to the slasher franchise and played on the popularity of reboots, revivals and sequels in Hollywood.

Today's horror films are hitting too close to home

Today's horror films are hitting too close to home

When it comes to horror films today, filmmakers are shying away from traditional blood and gore and focusing more on the fears of society.


"'Scream' can just embody almost all aspects of the horror genre because it's trying to not necessarily poke fun but kind of break down all those different aspects of all the different sub genres," Sirkin said.

That latest "Scream 6" is a direct sequel to the revival, and the movie's first batch of reviews say it continues to improve on the franchise.

One thing missing from the latest "Scream" is actress Neve Campbell, who has played the franchise's lead character Sydney Prescott since 1996. 

Campbell announced last summer she would not be returning to the franchise due to a salary dispute. The actress said in a statement: "As a woman, I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to "Scream." I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise."

"She is an iconic character, and Neve Campbell is the main reason," Sirkin said. "So I don't know; I'm a little nervous, but I think that the cast is really exciting."

Courtney Cox, another of the franchise's original stars, said she understands and supports Campbell's decision. Cox is reprising her role as reporter Gale Weathers, alongside stars Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Hayden Panettiere and Samara Weaving.