The Scream franchise delivers another self-aware sequel in its sixth entry, which takes the series' meta nature to the extreme by having Easter eggs be crucial to the story. From everything in that shrine to the cavalcade of Halloween costumes referencing classic horror films, here are all the Easter eggs, movie references, and callbacks you may have missed in Scream VI — with spoilers ahead:
Samara Weaving and 'Ready or Not'
The team behind Scream VI previously made the 2019 horror-comedy Ready or Not, adding a meta layer to that film's lead, Samara Weaving, serving as the opening kill. Weaving was almost in 2022's Scream, but scheduling issues got in the way. But the Ready or Not nods don't stop there. During the subway scene later on, we see a woman dressed as Weaving's character from Ready or Not, complete with a wedding dress and bandolier.
'Jason Takes Manhattan'
The most notable other time a horror franchise went to New York City was 1989's Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. So naturally, Scream VI begins with … a character named Jason (Tony Revolori) in Manhattan. In case that wasn't enough, Jason Takes Manhattan is also playing on TV in Jason's apartment.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Hitchcock and 'Phantom of the Opera'
Two posters for classic Alfred Hitchcock films are on display in Jason's apartment: Vertigo and Psycho, the latter of which inspired the original Scream's famous Drew Barrymore kill and has been repeatedly referenced in the franchise, from Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) quoting it to 2022's Scream riffing on the shower scene. Jason also has a poster for 1925's The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney.
A repurposed idea from a canceled sequel
Scream VI's cold open breaks new ground for the franchise, as it's the first time a Ghostface is revealed in the intro and then targeted by another Ghostface. But this is sort of a revival of an idea planned for a Scream 4 sequel that never happened. Originally, Scream 4's Ghostface, Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts), would have survived, only to be targeted in the sequel by another Ghostface who knows her secret.
'Friday the 13th Part 2'
Jason finding Greg's body in his fridge before being killed by Ghostface may be a nod to Friday the 13th Part 2's cold open, in which Alice finds Pamela Voorhees' severed head in her fridge and is then killed by Jason Voorhees.
Omega Beta Zeta
The guy Tara (Jenna Ortega) nearly hooks up with at a party asks if she's from Omega Beta Zeta, the sorority that Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was a part of in Scream 2. Tara is also at an Omega Kappa Beta party, which was the name of the fraternity Derek (Jerry O'Connell) was in during Scream 2.
During that frat party scene, one of the students is dressed as Wednesday Addams, who Scream VI star Jenna Ortega plays in the Netflix series Wednesday. We can also see a collection of dolls next to Sam's therapist (Henry Czerny) that appear to be of characters from the Addams Family.
The bodega where Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara are hunted by Ghostface is called Abe's Snake, a reference to the fact that Scream director Wes Craven directed a porn film in 1975 under the pseudonym Abe Snake.
The full name of Sam's love interest is Danny Brackett, surely a reference to Annie Brackett, one of Laurie Strode's friends in the original Halloween.
We hear in the cold open that Jason is bitter over his film studies professor giving him a C on his giallo paper. A giallo is a genre of Italian film that shares some similarities with the Scream movies in that they typically revolve around a killer whose identity is a mystery. One of the most acclaimed giallo directors is Dario Argento, whose films include Suspiria and Deep Red, and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) mentions that Jason is obsessed with him. In the cold open, Jason also wears a shirt referencing 4 mosche di velluto grigio, a 1971 giallo film from Argento with the English title Four Flies on Grey Velvet.
The Scream VI score incorporates a few musical callbacks, including when Sam and Tara are swarmed by reporters. The motif playing is from a similar scene in the original when Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) arrives at school and encounters a swarm of reporters; it's the track called "Trouble in Woodsboro" on the original score.
Later, when Gale (Courteney Cox) alludes to Dewey (David Arquette) in a conversation with Sam, we hear his theme from throughout the franchise (repurposed music from Broken Arrow.) "Red Right Hand" also plays after a cut to campus following Sam's therapist's death and again after the finale. The song has now appeared in every Scream film other than the fourth.
Mark Kincaid and the Gale punch
Sidney's absence is explained when Gale mentions that she's taking "Mark and the kids" somewhere safe. Mark was previously referenced as Sidney's husband in 2022's Scream, and the directors have confirmed in interviews that this is Mark Kincaid, Patrick Dempsey's character from Scream 3.
When Gale dodges Sam's punch and says she's "done this dance before," she's alluding to the moment in the first film when Sidney punches her. Gale's line that Sidney "deserves to have her happy ending" is also a bit meta considering many fans said the same to defend the character getting a break from the series after her happy ending in Scream 3.
'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'
Before his death, Sam's therapist is watching the 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, specifically the ending scene where Dr. Miles Bennell warns the pod people are coming and "you're next" — signaling that he'll be the next Ghostface victim. It's clearly a favorite of directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, as an Invasion of the Body Snatchers poster was previously seen in Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy's house in 2022's Scream.
'Saw III,' 'The Last Jedi,' and more
Mindy gets another monologue explaining the rules of the film, and she notes that once a series has become a franchise, main characters are expendable.
The examples provided are Laurie Strode (who died off-screen in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and on-screen in Halloween: Resurrection), Nancy Thompson (who died in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), Ellen Ripley (who died in Alien 3), Sally Hardesty (who died in 2022's Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Jigsaw (who died in Saw III), Tony Stark (who died in Avengers: Endgame), James Bond (who died in No Time to Die), and Luke Skywalker (who died in Star Wars: The Last Jedi). Would a spoiler alert have killed her?
Never trust the love interest
Mindy points out that her own girlfriend, Anika (Devyn Nekoda), is a suspect because you "never trust the love interest," one of Dewey's rules from 2022's Scream that Sam ignored with disastrous results.
Mindy notes in the phone tracing scene that "this is exactly how our uncle Randy died," referring to Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) being stabbed to death in a van in Scream 2. But the parallels go beyond that, as Randy was killed while trying to keep the killer on the phone to catch him in a public place in broad daylight, similar to what Sam does here.
Mindy and Kirby's favorite scary movies
Two film geeks from two generations, Mindy and Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), discuss their shared love of horror, first by picking their favorite Nightmare on Elm Street, the original — notable given that franchise was created by late Scream director Wes Craven, and Drew Barrymore's character declared in the first Scream that all of them after the original "sucked." They also praise Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Psycho II, and both versions of Candyman, including the 2021 one from Nia DaCosta.
Mindy alludes to conspiracy theories that Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard) from the original Scream is still alive, despite Sidney dropping a TV on his head. It's the movie's meta nod to a real fan theory that Stu survived and will return as Ghostface — which, to be fair, isn't so far-fetched considering Scream 3 was originally set to bring him back and reveal he orchestrated the latest murders from prison.
But Scream VI also firmly establishes that Stu is dead, listing him as having died in 1996 on Kirby's evidence board.
Gale would make a great killer
In a call with Gale, Ghostface opines that Gale being the killer would be a great twist, reasoning that she's the only one who could become Ghostface from the original trio. That's another nod to a popular fan theory, as there has been incorrect speculation for multiple movies now that Gale would be revealed as the killer.
1996 and 1972
The "core four" grab the subway at the 96th Street station after the attack on Gale, which could be a reference to the fact that the original Scream debuted in 1996. One of the stops is also 72nd Street, a possible reference to fact that Wes Craven's first movie, The Last House on the Left, came out in 1972.
Chad is the new Dewey
If Scream VI is modeling itself off of Scream 2, it only makes sense that the movie would end with Chad being revealed as alive when he's carried out on a stretcher despite being stabbed right before the finale — the exact same thing that happened to Dewey in Scream 2.
Every previous Scream killer is mentioned given their masks are used at various points, but the shrine takes things a step further by offering an Easter egg gold mine.
There are the obvious ones like the TV that fell on Stu Macher's head in the original Scream, which Kirby uses to take out one of the killers in the exact same way. But we also see outfits on display that were worn by Billy Loomis and Tatum (Rose McGowan) in the first Scream, Mrs. Loomis (Laurie Metcalf) in Scream 2, and Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) and Olivia Morris (Marielle Jaffe) in Scream 4. The red robe Stu was wearing at the party in the original Scream is also there.
Other Easter eggs in the shrine include the rope used to hang Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) in the first Scream's cold open, the jacket worn by Casey's boyfriend Steve (complete with the duct tape that covered his mouth), Randy's (Jamie Kennedy) video store shirt, a Woodsboro police uniform, the jacket and hat worn by Gale's cameraman Kenny (W. Earl Brown) and his camera, Gale's books that inspired the Stab movies, one of the theater masks used in Sidney's play from Scream 2 and the sun Derek (Jerry O'Connell) was killed on, a clapperboard and script from the making of Stab 3 in Scream 3, the fax machine from Scream 3 and the lighter from when the house blew up in that fax machine scene, the voice changer used by Ghostface in Scream 3, and "Stabathon" memorabilia from Scream 4. There's also a frying pan that appears to be the same one used to attack Steven Stone (Patrick Warburton) in Scream 3.
The Halloween costumes
A substantial number of Easter eggs also come in scenes featuring Halloween costumes, first at the frat party near the start of the film. There's a Wednesday Addams costume, as previously mentioned, as well as a costume of Zach Galifianakis from The Hangover, Dwayne Johnson from his infamous "fanny pack" photo, and Regina George from Mean Girls, complete with the "a little bit dramatic" shirt. Ethan's knight costume also appears to be a reference to the 2007 film Murder Party, where the main character wears an identical costume.
Later, many iconic horror films are referenced via Halloween costumes in the subway scene. There's the costume of Grace (Samara Weaving) from Ready or Not, as well as people dressed as Pinhead from Hellraiser, Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Michael Myers from Halloween, and the Babadook from The Babadook (Tara's favorite scary movie, as established in 2022's Scream).
There are also costumes in the subway scene of the twins from The Shining, Billy the Puppet from Saw, Georgie from It (we can see a yellow raincoat and red balloon), Shaun from Shaun of the Dead, Tippi Hedren's character from The Birds, Florence Pugh's character from Midsommar, the Tethered from Us, handmaids from The Handmaid's Tale, David Bowie, Andy Warhol, and Julia Fox, and Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls (who's voiced by Ghostface voice actor Roger L. Jackson). Additionally, Scream VI director Tyler Gillett has a cameo as one of the subway riders; there's a brief cut to him while the lights are flickering shortly after Tara asks how many stops are left.
Plus, a woman walking down the stairs during the first shot of the subway station, wearing a yellow shirt covered in blood, is dressed as Lucy Hale's character from Scream 4, the opening victim of the fictional Stab 6. Everyone else went basic by dressing as Ghostface, but props to this lady for the deep cut.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.