Scream VI and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett
The Scream franchise is certainly a unique presence in horror with a few solid entries under its belt and a premise that frankly hasn’t been replicated well by anyone else. The blending of slasher tropes with whodunit elements feels like one of the most obvious premises imaginable, right up there with using Superheroes as the basis of big summer blockbusters, and yet nothing has really tried to put their own spin on it outside of arguably the Saw movies which itself ran out of steam the same way Scream did after the third one. The reboot series of films which started with four has had some interesting takes on the formula and a few good ideas to keep the series relevant, but can they keep that momentum going long enough to round out the trilogy, or will it crash and burn as spectacular as Scream 3 did? Let’s find out!!
After the events of the last movie, the survivors have decided not to stay in Woodsboro and instead move to New York City for a change of scenery. After all, it’s not like slasher villains have a history of making New York City the one other place they go to kill people, right? Sure enough, another Ghostface Killer makes themselves known and it’s up to Sam and Tara (Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega) to find out who is donning the outfit this time and to keep their friend group from becoming mincemeat. This includes Mindy and Chad from the last movie (Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding) as well as newcomers Quinn, Ethan, and Anika (Liana Liberato, Jack Champion, and Devyn Nekoda) who could all be the new killer because that’s how these things usually work out. Oh, and of course, Gail Weathers shows up again (Courteney Cox) because this is a Scream movie and we can’t have one without at least one of the original survivors. Will Sam and Tara survive yet another serial killer that’s hot on their heels, and in doing so resolve the tension that’s been building between them since the last time this happened? Who could the killer be this time, and what new rules of horror movies need to be explored in order to stay one step ahead of Ghostface? What exciting new ways of murdering are available to Ghostface now that he’s in the big city? Maybe he can stab someone in an overpriced apartment instead of an oversized suburban home!
In The Heights and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Jon M Chu
Things are finally opening back up and I’m so glad that we finally get to see movies in theaters again (remember to get vaccinated before you go!), but I’ll admit that I’m also still glad that Warner Bros is still releasing movies on HBO Max the same day as theaters. I don’t know if I’ll ever truly return to my old routine of going to the theater two to three times a week, but if I’m going to get ANYWHERE close to that I’ll need to make the transition slowly, so being able to sit on my couch and catch up on the latest releases without having to worry about show times or theater prices is a genuine relief to me. Perhaps a big lavish musical like this is something that SHOULD be seen in the theater, but I saw Hamilton for the first time on a TV and it blew me away then so hopefully Lin-Manuel Miranda’s earlier musical can hit home the same way whether it’s seen in the most ideal conditions or not. Is this adaptation of the Broadway show as magical as you would hope from the names behind it, or was it a stretch to hope that Hamilton’s success would mean all of Miranda’s works were worth bringing into people’s homes? Let’s find out!!
Washington Heights is a predominantly Latino community in New York City where Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) whiles away the days working in his bodega and fondly remembering of his childhood in the Dominican Republic. He has always dreamed of returning there one day and when an opportunity to leave all of this behind and return to his home country, he seizes upon it and plans to leave the community in just a few days’ time. While trying to tie up his loose ends, we learn more about the people of Washington Heights, their struggles, and the many characters who fill out the rest of the story including Nina (Leslie Grace) who’s back from her first year at Stanford but may not be able to return, Melissa (Vanessa Morales) an aspiring fashion designer who can’t catch a break, Claudia (Olga Merediz) who everyone in the community loves but has some deep pain that she’s pushing deep down to try and be the matriarch of the community that everyone needs, and even good ol’ Benny (Corey Hawkins) who dreams of pulling himself up by his boot straps and making something of himself in the world of business. As these stories interweave and Usnavi’s flight out of the country gets closer and closer, more secrets are revealed, more heartbreak is had, and more than enough excuses to dance are made to make the days go by with a smile on everyone’s faces and joy in their hearts! Will Usnavi’s final days in Washington Heights change the way he sees himself, his dreams, and the people around him? What hardships will the people in this community face, and will they be able to overcome them with strength and pride? Is there any other neighborhood with THIS density of amazing dancers, because I’m pretty sure Time Square’s got NOTHING on this!