‘Scream 6’ set in New York is a very terrifying sign for the city

The last person Mayor Eric Adams wanted to see on a New York City subway train is Ghostface.

But when Paramount announced that the upcoming “Scream VI” movie, which hits theaters March 10, would be set right here in New York, the poster depicted the masked serial killer staring out the window of an MTA car, knife at the hand, with the sinister slogan “New York. New Rules.”

Everyone in the five boroughs replied, “Just what the MTA needs – another deranged slasher.”

“Scream” captures a tense moment as New York’s rising crime is the nation’s talking point. So, after 26 years of killings and heart-pounding phone calls in small-town California, the franchise is heading east – as the town’s reputation continues to slide south.

“Scream,” after all, isn’t our only creepy squatter. Ryan Murphy also launched “American Horror Story: NYC” here in the fall.

The trend is ominous. In the 2010s and 2010s, Hollywood mostly avoided using the Big Apple for horror movies… because it was so cool!

Under the mayors of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, Manhattan became the center of romantic comedy and shone on screen as a glittering metropolis full of possibility and youthful energy. “Sex and the City,” “Maid In Manhattan,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Trainwreck,” and many more exuberant and sexy movies and TV shows bathed in the upbeat New York glow.

Art will surely mimic life in “Scream VI,” set in the Big Apple.
Getty Images

It’s over. Now, fiction begins, once again, to reflect our grim and grimy reality.

The disturbing move harkens back to the 1960s, 70s, 80s and early 90s, when New York was not just a hotbed of crime and poor living conditions, but also a haven for horror movies.

A blind Audrey Hepburn was attacked in her West Village apartment by heroin-seeking thugs in 1967’s “Wait Until Dark.” Mia Farrow uncovered a secret satanic cult at Dakota on the Upper West Side in 1968 in “Rosemary’s Baby”. In 1980s “Maniac,” a serial killer murdered and scalped a prostitute in Times Square. Tim Robbins played a traumatized Vietnam veteran who returned home to a supernaturally scary NYC in 1990’s “Jacob’s Ladder.”

Mia Farrow's Upper West Side building has a creepy secret in it "Rosemary's baby."
Mia Farrow’s Upper West Side building has a spooky secret in “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Courtesy of Everett Collection
A serial killer flays his New York victims in "Maniac".
A serial killer flays his New York victims in “Maniac”.
Film Magnum/Kobal/Close

Meanwhile, who can forget that Charles Bronson pounced on a Manhattan vigilante in 1974’s “Death Wish”?

Even great movies made New York a dumping ground full of wreckage. Patrick Swayze was offended in 1990s ‘Ghost’ in the middle of Soho! In 1992’s “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York”, Tim Curry tells Catherine O’Hara, “Ma’am, there are hundreds of parasites out there armed to the teeth!” Just outside the Plaza Hotel. And the whole shtick of 1984’s “Ghostbusters” was, “Oh great. Now NYC has ghosts too?!”

A vigilante takes justice into his own hands in "Death Wish."
A vigilante takes justice into his own hands in “Death Wish.”
Courtesy of Everett Collection

That all these scary stories and scenes happened here was the result of New York being a dangerous place to live that people were afraid to visit. It was the perfect place to terrorize moviegoers. Then, for the last 20 years, we have been the privileged place of luxury and love. The most hair-raising tale in “Sex and the City” was of Samantha getting kicked out of the rooftop pool at Soho House.

And now we’ve traded Blahniks for bloody murder. Ghostface is on the phone, and this time he’s not saying “Hello, Sidney” – he’s saying “Hello, New York!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button