Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, the Scream franchise continues on with Scream VI, while we also have a nifty little procedural in To Catch a Killer. This week also features a top notch new addition to the Criterion Collection with After Hours. Plus, Beau is Afraid is out, if that’s your sort of thing. Read on for more…
This Scream sequel isn’t quite a top of the franchise outing, as mentioned in a ranking here, but it is a rock solid one. Moving to New York City was in some ways a breath of fresh air, though other elements are starting to show their age. I’m down for a new installment and love this creative team, but hopefully another outing will have something different to say. My review here of Scream VI includes the following:
Now six films in, the Scream franchise has managed a remarkable run of quality. In particular, after the last effort, simply titled Scream, was as good as it was, expectations for another sequel were higher than most horror series that go on this long. It’s a testament to how fun and meta the genre flicks are, veering towards horror comedies at times, even. Now, we have Scream VI following the prior film going in such an interesting new direction. While it can’t maintain all of the freshness from the last movie, it’s still a top-notch slasher, one that clearly is enjoying playing around with various tropes. Bring on another sequel!
Scream VI is tackling the concept of legacy sequels again, even acknowledging that it’s a sequel itself. Along with a change in setting to New York City, there’s an evolution of the franchise’s feel. That and the film might be the most violent one to date, which is really saying something. If I found it less surprising than the last one, the movie still almost entirely works, with any nitpicks being of the fairly small variety.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Book Club: The Next Chapter
Doctor Who: Jon Pertwee Complete Season Three (TV)
Knights of the Zodiac
Walker: Season Three (TV)
From The Criterion Collection: “Desperate to escape his mind-numbing routine, uptown Manhattan office worker Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) ventures downtown for a hookup with a mystery woman (Rosanna Arquette). So begins the wildest night of his life, as bizarre occurrences—involving underground-art punks, a distressed waitress, a crazed Mister Softee truck driver, and a bagel-and-cream-cheese paperweight—pile up with anxiety-inducing relentlessness and thwart his attempts to get home. With this Kafkaesque cult classic, Martin Scorsese—abetted by Michael Ballhaus’s kinetic cinematography and scene-stealing supporting turns by Linda Fiorentino, Teri Garr, Catherine O’Hara, and John Heard—directed a darkly comic tale of mistaken identity, turning the desolate night world of 1980s SoHo into a bohemian wonderland of surreal menace.”
The Watermelon Woman
From The Criterion Collection: “The wry, incisive debut feature by Cheryl Dunye gave cinema something bracingly new and groundbreaking: a vibrant representation of Black lesbian identity by a Black lesbian filmmaker. Dunye stars as Cheryl, a video-store clerk and aspiring director whose interest in forgotten Black actresses leads her to investigate an obscure 1930s performer known as the Watermelon Woman, whose story proves to have surprising resonances with Cheryl’s own life as she navigates a new relationship with a white girlfriend (Guinevere Turner). Balancing breezy romantic comedy with a serious inquiry into the history of Black and queer women in Hollywood, The Watermelon Woman slyly rewrites long-standing constructions of race and sexuality on-screen, introducing an important voice in American cinema.”