To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Scream VI Ticket

Ghostface stalks a kill on the subway in Scream VI.
(Image credit: Paramount/Spyglass)

What’s your favorite scary movie, 3D fans? There have been several famous slashers that have broken the window at some point or another in horror history, with Jason, Freddy and even Leatherface all having a turn. Now, third-dimensional terror has a new face in a familiar form, as Scream VI is sending the latest Ghostface to New York City in a franchise first. It’s time to ask another very important question, and one that can be scary depending on the answer: to 3D or Not to 3D?

If you want to read how our resident Scream expert Corey Chichizola felt about this latest thrill ride, CinemaBlend’s Scream VI review is what you’ll need to read to find out. Otherwise, it’s time to see if these 3D glasses can fit comfortably over the mask that’s claimed so many lives. Let’s see if Scream VI is worth the extra ticket money or if you should upgrade that voice changer for all future prank calls.

Fit Score - 5/5

As I had mentioned before, horror has a rich, if not inconsistent history of making it into the 3D space. Sometimes the finished product has left audiences feeling as if the format was just included to throw in a bunch of cheap gags. Though in other instances, like the 2009 remake of My Bloody Valentine, the line between sight gags and top-notch scares was walked rather finely. 

So when Scream VI was announced as a surprise 3D experience, the question of how well it would fit was a valid and present concern. Fear not, as while there are some slight hitches here and there, this is a movie that felt nice and cozy in 3D. If anything, this movie stands as a really good case for why future Scream movies should be conceived and shot with 3D in mind. 

Planning & Effort - 4/5

Another reason for concern involving Scream VI’s unexpected 3D release is the fact that this movie clearly wasn’t shot in native 3D format. While that’s not exactly something that’s common, as not everyone is setting out to make an Avatar: The Way of Water-like 3D experience, a conversion effort on a project like this might be even more difficult as a result.

Strangely enough, when I had heard that this movie was going to 3D, the first thing that came to mind was No Time To Die’s surprisingly good conversion. I say that’s strange because conversion/effects house DNeg was not only behind Bond’s big foray in the third dimension, but they were also the masterminds behind this Scream of a time. For a non-native 3D experience, DNeg has yet again pulled through with a fantastic effort.

Before The Window - 3/5

This is the number one field Scream fans are probably keeping their eyes on when it comes to the fifth sequel’s finished 3D product. If you can’t feel Ghostface stabbing towards you with a trusty knife, or in the case of Scream VI, aiming a newly acquired shotgun in the audience, then what’s the point? 

I really wanted more thrilling elements breaking out in the Before The Window factor, but what we do get is rather nice. It's mostly guns that point out of the screen, which is probably the second most frequent weapon of choice in the Scream series. Still, not having at least one Ghostface knife slash feel like it's coming right at you feels like a minor, non-deal breaking disappointment.

The bodega attack and the final standoff in the final act are the big standouts in this factor, and if you had problems believing Ghostface with a shotgun, the 3D version will make you a believer. If there’s a Scream VII and this premium format is considered again (as it should be), this is probably where the largest improvements can be had.

Beyond The Window - 5/5

Admittedly, when I heard there was going to be a 3D version of this movie, my thoughts immediately turned to the Scream VI teaser trailer. Ghostface slowly stalking some of Scream’s survivors on a subway train looked like the optimal scene that could prove whether or not the depth of the picture was manipulated to an exciting extent.

Right from the beginning, there’s an expert level of depth added to Scream VI’s 3D conversion. The pre-title sequence takes full advantage of a crowded restaurant, as well as a dark alley, showing a spatial depth that separates people from their environments. This is also a very crowded movie, and New York City’s lack of personal space makes for some fun eye candy should you let your gaze wander into the background. Oh, and the subway scene is definitely a good benchmark for this sort of effect, both in reference to this film’s efforts and good 3D effects in general.

Brightness - 4/5

If there was ever a usual suspect in what could kill a 3D conversion effort, it’s the brightness of the picture. The usual caveat is that you should choose a theater you trust to see a premium presentation of this nature, as not everyone calibrates their projectors properly. 

Shifting between formats improperly can dim a picture significantly, as the image of a 3D movie needs that extra brightness a 2D movie doesn’t. With that in mind, it’s not always the fault of the conversion house when a movie like Scream VI potentially winds up darker than intended. 

The screening I observed for this entry of To 3D or Not To 3D seemed pretty well off when it came to its lighting, though there was a decent degree of dimness that tinted the picture. That being said, for a movie that takes place mostly at night and in a major city with some pretty dark settings, Scream VI isn’t too hard on the eyes. 

Glasses Off - 4/5

While we’re breaking down the stuff we notice with the glasses on, let’s take a look at what we see with the glasses off. The temptation to take your 3D shades off will arise from time to time, whether it’s to give your eyes a break or just for garden variety curiosity. Scream VI isn’t going to visually stress people all that much, but it does have some interesting degrees of visual blur.

As the factor that shows how much the image of the movie has been tweaked to turn Tara and Samantha into literally three-dimensional characters, the blur is varied when it comes to what’s displayed. In some scenes, the blur is strong throughout the frame, whereas others have a dialed back, almost 2D quality. This may be where the lack of Beyond the Window thrills originate from, but the same could also be said for the beautiful depth that’s evidence in the strong blur that seems to almost always be in the background. 

Audience Health - 4/5

A sort of encapsulation of everything we’ve been talking about, the concern for audience health comes from the traditional nitpick of how most 3D movies would make people nauseous to watch. Those days seem to be over, and even though the Scream franchise has been known for fast-paced scenes of attacks and pursuits, the sixth film in the line isn’t a jarring mess behind those 3D glasses.

There are a couple small instances of visual wonk that might confuse a viewer’s eyes in Scream VI. Most notably, an early Halloween party scene and one of the chases down a hallway during the final act are where some of the movement is too quick for the 3D to properly register. You won’t puke while watching this movie unless you’re extra squeamish about blood.

Final Score - 29/35

Going into Scream VI, I was hoping that maybe the movie would replicate the unexpected 3D success of No Time To DieWhile that's not totally what we get out of this experience, it's not a bad comparison as to what to expect. Again, this is a solid proof of concept for going all out in planning the next Scream movie, and horror films in general, with a 3D flare in mind from square one. 

It also helps that Scream VI has managed to be more impressive than some other franchises that seem to be born for 3D. Outdoing some of the most recent Marvel movies in its usage of a premium format, Radio Silence's return to that favorite scary movie franchise has a little bit of a kick when you slide those shades on.

That's all for this blood-soaked entry of To 3D or Not To 3D, but it shouldn't be too much longer before we meet again. If my calendar is correct, the next big 3D thrill ride heading our way is The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which opens on April 5th. In the meantime, feel free to check out the To 3D archives, as well as our listing of 2023's new movie releases. I promise, I'll be right back before you know it.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.