Scream 6 directors talk the movie's biggest challenges and requel inspiration

Scream 6
(Image credit: Paramount)

Scream 6 slashed its way onto cinema screens earlier this year, going bigger and bloodier than 2022's Scream, the requel that gave the franchise a new lease of life. 

The sixquel sees Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) relocate to New York City, along with their friends Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown). Ghostface, though, is not so easily escaped, and the masked killer returns to stalk the sisters once again. 

We sat down with directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett to talk about the horror movie ahead of the film's release. With Scream 6 now available for home viewing, we've got the full conversation below. 

Our chat touched on challenging set pieces – including that nail-biting ladder sequence – as well as Dewey's death in Scream 5, and whether the directors would like to be involved in the future of the franchise. Read our (spoiler free) conversation below, edited for length and clarity. 

Ghostface in Scream 6

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

This film is so much bigger and bloodier than Scream 5. Why did you up the ante so intensely this time?

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: It was in the script. Guy [Busick] and Jamie [Vanderbilt] wrote a high octane, relentless movie. We read that script and were like, 'oh, my God, let's go.' If this was Scream 5, let's go over here for Scream 6. Let's make it as different as we can, while still having all the stuff that you want from a Scream movie. And I think one of the other things that was really exciting about this, is that we could really spend time with these characters and get to know them and get to explore those relationships.

From watching the film, I get the sense that you're having a lot of fun in the franchise. How did you feel about coming back for Scream 6 so soon after 5, because it's only been about a year's gap?

Tyler Gillett: In the moment, it was terrifying. You always want to have this moment where you sigh, the sigh of relief, this exhale after the process of making something. And I think that that we didn't have that in between these movies actually really helped Scream 6 have the feel that it has, because the pace of the movie and the pace of making it are really similar. It was just go go go. And, honestly, I think a lot of it was – what the movie is, it's a very intuitive movie for us, because there wasn't a lot of time to second guess things. There wasn't a lot of time to over-develop things. If it felt right, we did it. And it feels that, it feels rough and gritty and fast because of that.

There are some really inventive attacks in this film – like the ladder, which is terrifying, and there's the subway sequence. What was your favourite to stage and film?

Gillett: They were all so fun and unique in different ways. 

Bettinelli-Olpin: I know. I don't know if I can answer that. I think all of those set pieces were – yeah, they're fun, they're unique, they have their own thing. I will say that we had a real blast doing the subway sequence because Avery [Plewes], our costume designer, she knocked the costumes out of the park. And so we were just walking through a mass of people and all of these super cool costumes going like, 'whoa, hey, look, look, look.' 

Gillett: That was like being a kid on someone else's film set. That was such a fantasy, that section of the movie. 

Scream 6

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Was there anything on this film that was particularly different or challenging compared to Scream 5?

Gillett: We talked a little bit about the sequences, the set pieces. They are super fun to shoot, but with those bigger sequences, and the gears and the way that they evolve, all of that's just challenging, in the best possible way. But that ladder sequence was a thing. I'm sure if you get to talk to the cast, they will tell you the same. The bruises, we just beat them up for three or four days. [Laughs] It was really, really intense. 

Bettinelli-Olpin: Battle scars. 

Gillett: We wanted it to feel really, really real, and really physical, and we're so grateful that they were all game to have that experience.

Bettinelli-Olpin: Just to add one thing, too, I think another sequence that is maybe deceptively hard was – without a spoiler – the finale. Just figuring that out, and trying to be in one place for that long, and trying to figure out how to make that really work. That was a lot of weekends spent figuring that one out.

You have a lot of talk in this film from Jasmin Savoy Brown's character Mindy about requels and franchises. How much inspiration have you taken from other horror requels while making the Scream movies?

Gillett: A ton. I think we have to be really aware of all of those references – for the Scream movie to be a Scream movie, it has to be able to speak in an informed way about the genre as a whole. And we're fans, right? We're fans of all of those franchises, all of the requels, all the remakes, and I think part of the fun of getting to make and work in the Scream universe is that you get to have a conversation about the movies that you love. And the movies get to be a reflection of your tastes and what you love in the franchise as well. And it's been really fun to get to put all of that, all of us, into these movies.

Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's Scream VI. Photo by Philippe Bossé

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures/Spyglass Media Group)

There are a few references to Dewey in the film, keeping his legacy alive. A year on, what are your thoughts about killing him off in Scream 5? Are you still certain that that was the right decision? 

Bettinelli-Olpin: It hurts. We love Dewey.

Gillett: I don't think we'd ever walk back that choice, though. 

Bettinelli-Olpin: Exactly. 

Gillett: I think you have to watch your heroes die in order to create room for new stories and to watch how that affects the characters. I think that Gale's story in this one is really deep and significant because of that loss, and certainly Sam and Tara and Mindy and Chad, they're also all dealing with Dewey's loss as part of this greater, traumatic experience that they had in the last movie. So I think as long as those deaths inform character in a way that is meaningful and significant, then it's worth breaking those eggs, as hard as it is.

Betinelli-Olpin: I'm still sad about Randy.

Gillett: Yeah, totally.

In this film, Sam – and to an extent Tara – have this darkness in them that you really dig into. What are your thoughts on how it's explored? Because it's really interesting, but it can also be a lot of fun in the way that you bring it out.

Bettinelli-Olpin: The darkness that especially Sam is dealing with in this one, it's such a major part of the movie, and Melissa really took that to heart and really dug in. And I think you feel that, when you're watching her, that she's dealing with something very deep and very troubling to her. And then watching the way that she deals with that over the course of the movie really is the spine of the movie and how that affects her and Tara and their relationship.

Gillett: We really love the idea that darkness isn't something that you have to experience or explore alone, right? That if you let people in, if you're willing to be vulnerable, that's stuff that you can deal with as a family, as sisters, as brothers, as couples, whatever that is, that it's okay to let people see that part of yourself.

You're keeping the franchise going in some really cool, inventive ways. Where do you see it going after this? Are you keen to keep going, or are you ready to pass on the baton? 

Bettinelli-Olpin: We'd love to. We love Scream, we'd love to just keep doing it.

Gillett: We're here for it in any way, too. Working on it, [or] as fans buying movie tickets. We're so happy the franchise is back. We love these movies so much.

Scream 6 is available to Download & Keep now and on DVD, Blu-ray™ & 4K Ultra HD™ from July 10. 

See what else the year has in store with our guide to all of 2023's major movie release dates

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.