Scream 6 ending was inspired by the 1996 original – but not in the ways you might think

Scream 6
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Warning! This article contains major spoilers for Scream 6. If you've yet to see the movie, and want to remain in the dark until you do, turn back now.

With no Neve Campbell and a new city setting, Scream 6 feels a bit more fresh than its predecessor – which introduced a whole bunch of new characters while still bringing Dewey, Gale, and Sidney back to Woodsboro to face off against Ghostface. Heck, the fifth film finale even took place in the same house as the 1996 original's!

Turns out, though, the more recent installment's last few scenes still took inspiration from Wes Craven's 1996 outing and now, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have opened up about the subtle way Scream 6's ending ties in with Scream's.

"For as brutal and as violent and as scary as [Scream 6] is, we wanted this to be a secret feel-good movie, because that's really what [Scream (1996)] is," Gillett recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "All the people that you love – minus Tatum [Rose McGowan], really – make it out alive, and one of the reasons that movie is so lasting and enduring is because it just feels great at the end. So we really wanted to replicate that in as big and fun and grand a way as we could."

Swapping Woodsboro for New York City, the latest in the slasher franchise sees Ghostface survivors Sam (Melissa Barrera), her younger sister Tara (Wednesday's Jenna Ortega), and their pals try to start afresh in the Big Apple. But paranoid Sam's worst fears are realized when another mysterious masked murderer pops up to terrorize them on the year-anniversary of the previous attack.

In Scream 6's violent conclusion, it's revealed that Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) and his children Quinn (Liana Liberato) and Ethan (Jack Champion) are the killers, hellbent on making Sam pay for killing their son and older brother Richie (Jack Quaid). Despite the blood spilled, every character – bar the trio of baddies, of course – survives the confrontation, including Chad (Mason Gooding), Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), who was stabbed by Quinn on the subway and sent to hospital in an earlier scene. 

Scream 6 is out in US and UK cinemas now. For more, check out our breakdown of the movie's ending, or our interview with the cast and filmmakers.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.