WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for Scream 6!Ghostface using a shotgun in Scream 6 sparked controversy due to a change in killing strategy, but the weapon itself isn’t what made the bodega scene such a notable departure from the killers’ past massacres. The Scream franchise has numerous traditions that nearly every Ghostface killer follows, such as the presence of multiple Ghostfaces (except for Scream 3’s Roman), using a knife as the primary weapon, wearing the mask and costume until the ending reveal, and using a voice-changer when speaking on the phone. While Scream 6 does break some notable franchise traditions, such as Sidney Prescott’s absence, Ghostface using a shotgun as a weapon isn’t one of them.
One of Scream 6’s most intense scenes arrives when Sam and Tara are attacked by Ghostface killer Wayne Bailey in a bodega. While the Carpenter sisters successfully hide around the store, Ghostface kills the other patrons and takes the shotgun belonging to the clerk. The bodega sequence was a significant aspect of Scream 6’s trailers, which sparked controversy about Ghostface raising the stakes by using a gun instead of a knife as a weapon. However, Ghostface has used guns in past Scream movies, such as Billy, Stu, Mickey, Nancy Loomis, Jill, and Amber, so the weapon itself isn’t a big change to the killers’ M.O. Still, Scream 6 does introduce a twist on Ghostface’s gun use with one scarier new detail.
Scream 6’s Shotgun Isn’t A Big Change, But Ghostface Still Wearing The Mask Is
The reason why Scream 6’s controversial shotgun scene feels so different isn’t that the killer is using a gun as a weapon, but that he’s still wearing the Ghostface mask while armed with it. In past Scream movies, Ghostface resorted to using guns once they had already unmasked themselves, typically also having revealed their underlying motivations for the attacks. However, Scream 6’s bodega scene sees Ghostface still masked with not a word uttered by Wayne Bailey underneath. Unlike past Ghostfaces, Bailey wasn’t worried about revealing his identity or intentions to Sam and Tara before trying to wound them with gunshots.
In Scream (1996), Billy and Stu finally resorted to using guns at the very end once both were out of their Ghostface costumes, with their use of guns being the real indicator of their killer identities. In Scream 2’s ending, Mickey held a knife in his hand until the moment he took off the mask, at which point he pulled out a gun. Roman similarly finally used a gun in Scream 3’s ending after he took off the mask and revealed his true identity to Sidney. It isn’t until Jill and Charlie reveal their plans and take off their masks in Scream 4’s ending that they use a gun, with Scream (2022) similarly seeing Amber and Richie turn guns on their friends without Ghostface masks on.
Why Ghostface Using A Gun Is Still So Much Scarier In Scream 6
Scream 6’s Ghostface using a shotgun in the bodega scene does surprisingly raise the stakes because the killer’s identity is still a mystery. At the point that Ghostface is already using a more lethal weapon, Scream 6’s characters have no idea who or what they’re dealing with and why. By the time Ghostface is using a gun in the previous five Scream movies, the adrenaline is hitting a climax and the massacre is near its end. However, Scream 6’s attack is still just starting when Bailey begins using a shotgun against Sam and Tara, which set the stage for the 2023 sequel to have the movie series’ highest kill count yet.