SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers for “Scream VI”, which is currently playing in theaters.
The casual horror fan probably noticed a few iconic masks and monsters in the “Scream VI” subway scene: there’s Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Pinhead, and even modern staples like Florence Pugh’s floral dress from “Midsommar. and a group of people attached to Jordan “We” from Peele. But costume designer Avery Plewes and directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett went to unimaginable lengths to pack more than 50 Easter eggs, costumes and blink-and-miss-you references into the latest “Scream.”
In search of Ghostface in New York, the “Scream VI” team, consisting of Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding ), Ethan Landry (Jack Champion) and Danny Brackett (Josh Segarra) pile into the subway to confront the latest masked killer. However, it’s Halloween time, which means the wagon is packed with throngs of New Yorkers in spooky costumes.
To the delight of horror fans, this is where most of the film’s references start to appear. Plewes estimated that she made 200 costumes, with 140 extras on set for the Subway shoot. About 45 of these extras changed clothes after getting off the recreated train car, then reappeared in different costumes on the subway platform.
“It was a 25/75 rule, where 25% of the costumes were scary at first, and then it got progressively worse,” Plewes explained.
As a tribute to Wes Craven, who directed the first four “Scream” films, Plewes started with characters from the horror legend’s filmography to populate the subway scene.
“We started with Wes, then we went through A-list horror villains, new and old, and then things that seem really relevant to people today and are part of the air. time,” she said. “‘Scream’ is about being meta and referencing the zeitgeist, and so you look at Ari Aster, Jordan Peele, we had ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ zombies on the subway. We wanted Mindy to feel terrorized, not only by elements of horror, but also by patriarchal tropes that would really freak her out.
References and costumes from Wes Craven films:
- “The Last House on the Left” (1972): Sadie
- “Deadly Blessing” (1981)
- “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984): Freddy Krueger
- “Deadly Friend” (1986): Samantha Pringle
- Shocker (1989): Horace Pinker and Allison Clemson
- “People under the stairs” (1991): Dad and a child
- “Vampire in Brooklyn” (1995): preacher Pauly and detective Rita Veder
To balance out the horror costumes on the subway, there are people dressed up as real-life celebrities, like Julia Fox, Jennifer Lopez, and David Bowie, as well as a few non-costumed regular New Yorkers who are just trying to get home in peace. Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, co-founders of production company Radio Silence with their “Scream VI” executive producer Chad Villella, even got into the subway scene, albeit very briefly. Bettinelli-Olpin dressed as Kurt Cobain and Gillett shoved a fake butcher knife in his head on the subway
“It may be a question of 12 executives, if not less. Just a quick little flash, but we appear very briefly,” they said. “The 12 best images of the film, certainly the scariest.”
Non-Horrific Costumes and Cameos:
- Jennifer Lopez
- Gloria Steinem
- david bowie
- Julia Fox
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Andy Warhol
- Klaus Nomi
- Angela Davis
- Orville Peck
- Spike Lee
- ‘Scream VI’ co-director Bettinelli-Olpin dressed as Kurt Cobain
- ‘Scream VI’ co-director Gillett with fake butcher knife to his head
- The daughter of the producer of “Scream VI”, William Sherak, Eloise
The directors joked that they had watched the film 1,000 times and constantly noticed new references in the film. Some of their more obscure Easter eggs include a repurposed sound effect from Ti West’s 2022 horror film “X”, a glimpse of Sonic the Hedgehog’s blue quills as a favor for Bettinelli-Olpin’s son, and a photo of Keke Palmer’s character in Peele’s ‘Nope’. .”
Plewes and the directors also included a Wednesday Addams costume at the ‘Scream VI’ fraternal party, unaware that Ortega’s star status would later explode after playing the character on Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’ series the year last. They almost included a poster of “X” in Tara’s bedroom (Ortega also starred in that 2022 horror), but decided against it.
Easter eggs and costumes from the “Scream” universe:
- “Halloween” (1978): Michael Myers and Dr. Samuel Loomis, who is the namesake of Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) from “Scream.”
- “Friday the 13th” (1980): Jason Voorhees is on the subway with Freddy Krueger, referencing the conversation between Mindy and Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) earlier in “Scream VI”.
- ‘Dazed and Confused’ (1993): Someone at the frat night wears a jersey with the number 10 on it, which is the same number Tatum (Rose McGowan) wore in the original ‘Scream’.
- “Scream” (1996): Casey Becker, played by Drew Barrymore in “Scream”, but also by Heather Graham in the fictional film “Stab” from “Scream 2”.
- “The Powerpuff Girls” (1998): Mojo Jojo, who is voiced by Roger L. Jackson, the voice of Ghostface.
- “Shaun of the Dead” (2004): Kirby watches him in “Scream 4”.
- “V/H/S” (2012): Bettinelli-Olpin, Gillett and Villella created and starred in a short film “V/H/S” as a Pirate, Teddy Bear and Unabomber. In the first party scene of “Scream VI”, Tara is dressed as a pirate, someone is dressed as a teddy bear, but the actor who was supposed to dress as an Unabomber had to miss the scene after contracting COVID .
- “The Babadook” (2014): Mentioned by Tara in 2022’s “Scream”.
- “Scream 4” (2011): Sherrie, played by Lucy Hale, appears in the fictional opening of “Stab 6”
- ‘Ready or Not’ (2019): Samara Weaving starred as Grace le Domas and appears in ‘Scream VI’; directed by Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett with costumes by Plewes.
- “The Black Phone” (2021): The Grabber’s Mask; also shot by “Scream VI” cinematographer Brett Jutkiewicz
More costumes and references from the subway scene, the fraternity and beyond:
- “Eyes Without a Face” (1960): The mask was Michael Myers’ original inspiration for “Halloween.”
- “The Birds” (1963): Melanie Daniels, and a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock
- “The Addams Family” (1964): Wednesday Addams, who Ortega plays in the Netflix series “Wednesday.”
- “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)
- “Carrie” (1976)
- “The Shining” (1980): The Grady Twins
- “Videodrome” (1983): Used the original apron and butcher’s gloves that Debbie Harry wore; also a tribute to David Cronenberg.
- “The Corn Children” (1984)
- “Top Gun” (1986): Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell
- “Hellraiser” (1987): Pinhead
- “Child’s Play” (1988): Chucky and his fiancee, Tiffany
- “It” (1990): Pennywise with his balloon and George in his yellow rain jacket
- “Sonic the Hedgehog” (1991): added in the background in favor of Bettinelli-Olpin’s son.
- “The Grudge” (2004): Kayako Saeki
- “Trick ‘n Treat” (2007): Sam
- “Creep” (2014): The Peachfuzz Wolf Mask
- “The Handmaid’s Tale” (2017): The handmaids’ red capes
- “We” (2019): people tied up in their suits
- “Midsommar” (2019): Florence Pugh’s floral dress
- “X” (2022): The knock on Samantha’s therapist’s door in “Scream VI” is the same sound repurposed from “X”, which was performed by director Ti West. West previously worked on “V/H/S” with Bettinelli-Olpin, Gillett and Villella.
- “No” (2022): Emerald “Em” Haywood