[Interview] Radio Silence for SCREAM VI

[Interview] Radio Silence for SCREAM VI
SCREAM VI l Paramount Pictures
In SCREAM VI, the sequel to the requel, we pick up where the last film left off as we follow our four survivors, Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding) leaving Woodsboro behind to start a fresh chapter in New York City. But, as we all know, Ghostface’s job is never done and the terror Ghostface left in Woodsboro has now returned. This time Ghostface is coming for the Big Apple.

Prior to the release of SCREAM VI, Nightmarish Conjurings’ Shannon McGrew spoke with directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, as well as producer Chad Villella, aka the trio that makes up Radio Silence. During their chat, they discussed everything from turning Montreal into New York City, showcasing a more violent, intimidating Ghostface, and their favorite scenes from the film.

Thank you all for chatting with me today! To start, SCREAM VI takes place in the city that never sleeps. Was it always meant to be in New York City? 

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: That was the first thing we heard about this. Before we had read the script, the only tidbit of information we got was that [writers] Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt had set it in New York. And instantly we were like, great!

Tyler Gillett: One of the challenges was that obviously, we wanted to shoot in New York. We learned very quickly how prohibitive it is to shoot in New York, mostly for cost reasons. Going to Montreal, [the question became] how do we represent such an iconic city, honestly, in an authentic way. We really wanted to make sure that the movie feels like it exists in everyday locations because those are the things that make New York, New York. Obviously, there are the big iconic touristy places but our experience with New York, having been there a bunch of times, knowing people that are from there and live there, those everyday things give the city its true identity and we wanted to make sure that the movie really went there and explored all of those geographically.

Ghostface is no joke this go around. Far more intimidating and far more violent, which I personally loved. What was the decision process in showcasing Ghostface as this bigger force to reckon with? 

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: I think it goes with New York, right? That was kind of part and parcel with going to New York. Our instinct was like, cool, we’re gonna shoot this more gritty, a little more raw than we did on Scream V. Just by proxy that became oh, Ghostface is going to be more violent. The first time we really saw that in the script was when you get to the bodega scene and you’re like, oh, I’m sorry, Ghostface has a shotgun now? Okay [Laughs]. Our reaction was, that’s crazy. Is that okay? Oh, we have to do that. That just changes the tenor of the entire movie. It really was this evolving thing on how far can we go with this and still make sure it feels like Ghostface but how far can we go with this? The other piece of that puzzle was Max Laferriere, the stunt performer who embodied Ghostface in this movie. He’s a menacing presence. He’s got a slightly different form than the previous Ghostface. He kind of just took it to another level and the script was taking it to another level so it just kind of all was working out. It was like alchemy that just kind of happened.

Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream VI.”

Speaking on the stunt performances, what was executed were some of the most impressive fight scenes I’ve seen in the entire franchise. Can you talk about choreographing those scenes? 

Tyler Gillett: Max was an actor first so, we were able to talk with him on a performance level as well and not just a stunt level. I think the other thing that was a really significant ingredient in the choreography and the reason those scenes feel the way they feel is because I think the cast knew going in, and we had many conversations with them going into this, that what was on the page we were really going to do what was on the page. If they felt uncomfortable or unsafe or they wanted their stunty to fly in, that was totally fine. We wanted to choreograph the scenes in a way that ensured that the cast would be in them for 99.9% of the action. It was really valuable to us that we could be right there, right up in their faces with the terror.

Then you enter Max, you know, Ghostface into that equation and we would say like, no, really try to get through that door. Don’t do a movie hit. Kick the door down. Kick the f***ing door down. The set can handle it. I think that it was really about trying to capture reality. It wasn’t about faking it. It was about actually doing it. I think you really feel that, especially in the ladder sequence. We really put them through hell in that scene and I think you feel the intensity of it because of that.

One of my favorite scenes in the film is that ladder one. Is there a favorite scene that you all have?

Chad Villella: I think for me, the subway scene. As a horror fan for all these years, to be able to have all these incredible characters throughout the subway. What Avery Plewes did by getting all the costumes to a T and just populating it with everything you could want, as a horror fan, in a contained tube, for lack of a better word, was just awesome. Walking around set that day made you feel like what movie studios look like in the movies, you know? When you’re walking around [the studio] and are like hey, there’s Freddy.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: Oh, there’s Sonic the Hedgehog [Laughs].

Tyler Gillett: That was one of the things that was so cool about that sequence, but also just Halloween in general, that the tone of the movie was always on. If it wasn’t directly on screen, then you just felt it on the periphery. That for us was a way to keep the fun aspect of the movie alive, even though it was terrifying, that you’re also reminded of that dork in the Sonic costume…

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: Shaun of the Dead is in the background talking to Ghostface [Laughs].

Tyler Gillett: The tone is inescapable when you have a backdrop like Halloween.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: I think another scene that I know we all collectively loved, it’s actually like a twofer. There are three scenes in the beginning where the movie just gets quiet for a while. Sam and Tara have a fight, and then Tara and Chad have like a little almost romance, and then Sam and Danny have a scene. You know there’s a shit storm coming and there’s this weird like, oh God, the movie’s slowing down. But we really make sure to take our time with that and be like, yeah, we’re gonna spend time with these characters. We’re going to force you to care about these characters. The actors are just so fucking good in this one. I think some things that we love about this movie is that it has those insane set pieces and then it’s like, let’s put two people on a bed and they can talk for five minutes [Laughs].

Thank you all so much for taking the time to chat with me. I haven’t stopped thinking about this movie since I saw it. And I must say, I love the nod to The Babadook during the Subway scene – shout out to elevated horror! 

Find out who survives and who dies now that SCREAM VI is in theaters. For more on the film, check out our review here.

Shannon McGrew
Follow Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *