Slash Film

When the “Scream VI” trailer debuted a month ago, slasher flick purists were taken aback by Ghostface’s use of a shotgun in the opening bit. This is a slasher flick. Slashers… slash, right?

If you’re at all familiar with the genre, you know that the best slasher movies get inventive with their kills. Jason Voorhees famously used a speargun to brilliant 3D effect in “Friday the 13th Part III,” Samantha exploded Anne Ramsey’s head with a basketball in “Deadly Friend,” and pyramid sinkers figure prominently in Buddy Cooper’s magnificent “The Mutilator.”

The one method of murder that tends to be frowned upon in slasher flicks is gunplay. Sure, antagonists who are closely associated with a certain implement of dispatch (Jason’s machete, Michael Myers’ butcher knife, and Leatherface’s chainsaw) have to call an audible every now and then, but firearms are just, in the Grand Guignol tradition, gauche. Unless you’re soaring off the rails (as Lee Harry did with the “Garbage Day” scene in “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2”), you owe it to the gorehounds to get gonzo with your kills.

The Radio Silence trio of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella understood this heading into “Scream VI,” and they figured, given the city setting and bodega situation, that Ghostface had no choice but to use the weapon left at his disposal.

Ghostface Getting Handy With The Steel

In an interview with io9’s Germain Lussier, the filmmakers acknowledged their flouting of slasher flick tradition. According to Gillett:

“We definitely knew it was going to be controversial. We had that reaction, right? Our reaction was, ‘Whoa, can we do that?’ And then we did, in large part because we thought it felt kind of unsafe and it wasn’t something that we were sure could, you know, quote-unquote, could exist, which made us go like, ‘Well, then let’s make it, and then we’ll see how that plays out.'”

It is a jarring choice, one that the franchise might’ve needed as it reaches the “Jason Lives” threshold of its existence. Per Bettinelli-Olpin, they’re “testing the audience,” trying to knock them off balance and place everything in play.

I like this, but I also think if the series wanted to stick to the meta roots of Kevin Williamson’s original film, they’d make a joke of Ghostface eschewing the use of a shotgun. It’s too easy. The macabre joy of being Ghostface is honoring the slasher film tradition. Why use a shotgun when you can bludgeon someone with a cash register?

Alas, if you’re hoping this is just a one-time blip, Villella has some very bad news. As he told Lussier, “We didn’t go full ‘Stab 8’ with it where it’s a sleeveless Ghostface with a flamethrower. We’ll save that one for whatever they do next.” I say screw it and give Ghostface the nuclear launch codes. Go apocalyptic or go home.

Read this next: Horror Movies That Make Us Root For The Villain

The post Scream VI Filmmakers Knew Ghostface Using A Shotgun Would Be Controversial appeared first on /Film.

/Film – Scream VI Filmmakers Knew Ghostface Using A Shotgun Would Be Controversial
Author: Jeremy Smith
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March 11, 2023

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