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A Spoiler-Filled Breakdown of the Ending of Scream VI

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Scream VI.

Ghostface is back. And this time, he’s taking over the Big Apple.

Scream VI, the latest installment in the storied Scream franchise, is finally here and, as per usual, it’s packed with plenty of blood, suspense, and stabbing. A sequel to 2022’s thrilling Scream “requel,” Scream VI follows sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) to New York City, where they’re both dealing with the trauma of Ghostface’s return to Woodsboro in their own ways.

In Tara’s case, that means pretending she’s a normal college student by attending booze-fueled frat parties with Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad (Mason Gooding). In Sam’s, it means going to therapy and admitting that she got a certain kick out of stabbing her murderous ex-boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid) to death 22 times after finding out he and Tara’s ex-best friend Amber (Mikey Madison) were the new Woodsboro killers in the last movie. She’s started to worry that her father, OG Ghostface Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), has had a bit more sway over her psyche than she’d like to think.

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But Sam doesn’t have much time to dwell on the past once it becomes clear there’s a new Ghostface on the loose. Over the course of 123 minutes, the longest runtime of any Scream movie yet, Sam, Tara, Mindy, and Chad scramble to figure out who’s after them this time—before it’s too late. The Core Four, as Chad dubs them, is joined by Scream fan-favorites Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere), now an FBI officer who specializes in Ghostface attacks, as well as some new faces, including Sam and Tara’s roommate Quinn (Liana Liberato), Quinn’s father Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney), Chad’s roommate Ethan (Jack Champion), Mindy’s girlfriend Anika (Devyn Nekoda), and Sam’s new love interest Danny (Josh Segarra).

With Ghostface targeting the group everywhere from the subway to a corner bodega, nowhere in the city is safe. And like every Scream movie that’s come before, Scream VI, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, has some serious twists up its sleeve. The self-referential slasher culminates in an ending showdown that takes place inside an abandoned movie theater that’s been turned into a meta shrine to all the Ghostfaces of old. It’s there that the killer is finally revealed.

Who is the killer in Scream VI?

Dermot Mulroney as Detective Bailey in 'Scream VI'
Philippe Bossé—Paramount PicturesDermot Mulroney as Detective Bailey in Scream VI

For the first time in Scream movie history, there’s not just one or two Ghostfaces, but three.

Following a harrowing ride on the subway during which Mindy is stabbed, Sam, Tara, and Chad head to the old theater with Kirby in an attempt to lure Ghostface to their location. But after Chad is repeatedly stabbed and seemingly killed, their plan quickly spirals out of control.

After a tense few minutes where it seems like Kirby’s Ghostface expertise may have turned into a murderous obsession, Detective Bailey reveals himself to be the one who’s been running the show all along. And what’s more, he’s actually Richie’s father. Working alongside Richie’s brother and sister, Ethan and Quinn (who didn’t actually die earlier in the movie), Bailey orchestrated an online conspiracy theory smear campaign against Sam to convince people she was the one really behind last year’s Woodsboro murders. The family then set a plan in motion to get close to the Core Four and get revenge for Richie’s death.

A bloody showdown ensues where Sam, Tara, and Kirby manage to take out Quinn and Ethan. Sam then dons her father’s old Ghostface costume and, using his knife, finishes the job by killing Bailey.

What’s next for Scream?

Melissa Barrera as Sam Carpenter, Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy Meeks-Martin, and Mason Gooding as Chad Meeks-Martin in 'Scream VI'
Philippe Bossé—Paramount PicturesL-R: Melissa Barrera as Sam Carpenter, Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy Meeks-Martin, and Mason Gooding as Chad Meeks-Martin in Scream VI

A seventh Scream movie hasn’t officially been greenlit yet, but with Scream VI earning $5.7 million in Thursday previews on the way to what could be a franchise-high opening weekend at the box office, a forthcoming announcement seems likely.

Despite some close calls, the Core Four, Kirby, and Gale all survived Scream VI, meaning they could all potentially return for another movie. There’s also the matter of Sam’s ongoing connection to her murderous father. While she’s only ever killed in self-defense up to this point and ultimately left her dad’s mask behind at the end of this movie, the filmmakers seem to be hinting that Sam’s knack for killing could continue to play a role in her story going forward.

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