Who is the new Ghostface killer in Scream VI? It's the tantalising question that has fuelled the long-running slasher franchise, which has always managed to catch us off guard with its memorably grisly kills and witty meta references to the history of horror cinema.
In Scream VI, the series decamps to New York City, and there's always safety in a crowd, right? Think again. The survivors of last year's hit Scream V are about to discover that anonymity in Manhattan is no shield from a rampaging new Ghostface killer. In fact, the new psycho appears to have constructed a shrine to the gruesome legacy of Ghostface, signalling the most terrifying and dangerous onslaught so far.
The movie is released at Cineworld on March 10th so we've ranked the odds of the new Ghostface's identity. Of course, there could be more than one killer – the series has taught us that, several times over. Based on the list below, who do you think it might be?
1. Sam Carpenter
Surely it can't be Sam (Melissa Barrera), right, the new de facto lead character of the Scream series? Well, firstly, the franchise has never subverted our expectations by having the lead character become the killer, meaning Scream VI has the potential to head down that road.
More pertinently, Sam has serial killer ancestry in her blood. Her illegitimate father was Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), the original Woodsboro killer from the first Scream movie. It was Billy's spirit that encouraged Sam to make a pin-cushion out of her treacherous boyfriend, and Ghostface incumbent, Richie (Jack Quaid), in Scream V, so it's safe to say that we're keeping an eye on her...
2. Gale Weathers
Trashy news reporter turned author turned perennial Ghostface survivor Gale (Courteney Cox) has vacillated between sympathetic and unsympathetic throughout the series. She ultimately became a close ally of the now-absent Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale currently knows more about Ghostface's ever-changing tactics than anyone, especially in the wake of ex-husband Dewey's (David Arquette) death.
But who's to say that Gale's multiple Ghostface attacks haven't rubbed off on her? Might Gale have been twisted in a psychological sense over the course of several years? It would certainly allow Scream veteran Cox to exit the series with a bang. In the trailer for Scream VI, we see Ghostface attacking Gale, but this may well be a staged intervention from one of several potential killers...
Always be wary of the person who returns unexpectedly. Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) has been absent from the series since the events of Scream 4 (2011) where she barely survived the onslaught from Ghostfaces Jill (Emma Roberts), Sidney's cousin, and Trevor (Rory Culkin). However, she now turns up in New York, seemingly to advise Sam and her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega), a fellow Ghostface survivor), about the new psycho's escalation in tactics.
This could be a ruse and Kirby may well be hiding in plain sight, toying with her potential victims as she warns them about a killer who's lurking a lot closer than they think. As to a potential motivation? That's anyone's guess at this stage.
4. Chad Meeks-Martin
Chad (Mason Gooding) was attacked and left for dead in Scream V. However, he lived to tell the tale, and he's another one of those characters who may now have a taste for carnage having been to death's door and back...
5. Mindy Meeks-Martin
Chad's sister Mindy (Jason Savoy Brown) successfully identified the killer's M.O. during the events of Scream V: chiefly, that Ghostface was sculpting a horror movie 'requel' that aimed to mix up legacy characters with a host of new victims. Might this level of genre savvy position her as the Ghostface, or one of the Ghostfaces, in Scream VI?
6. Tara Carpenter
We're thinking it's unlikely that Scream VI will have both Carpenter sisters tag-teaming as Ghostface. Of the two, it's far more likely that Sam will be revealed as the killer, given her heritage with Billy Loomis. Even so, it's often the more passive characters who can twist the knife and turn the screw...
Of course, this is just a flavour of the potential suspects in the new Scream movie. Click here to discover the full list of Scream 6 characters and then click here to book your Scream VI tickets. The movie slashes its way into Cineworld on March 10th.