‘Scream 6’ Ending, Explained: Who Was The Real Ghostface? What Happens To Sam Carpenter?


“Scream 6” is the latest iteration in the slasher horror franchise, with promises of making things bigger, scarier, and bloodier. Considering the generic route that films of this nature can sometimes end up taking, “Scream 6” does manage to successfully deliver on the promise. The plot follows the four survivors of the Woodsboro attacks that were shown in “Scream (2022)“, who are now settled in New York City, where a series of gruesome murders and Ghostface masks left behind at each of the crime scenes make way for a new chilling mystery. While the thriller and horror elements are fairly executed in “Scream 6” in manners characteristic of the franchise, it also maintains the humor and hint of self-awareness that were present in the previous films.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Scream 6’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

“Scream 6” begins at a fancy restaurant in New York City, where an associate professor of film studies at Blackmore University is waiting for her date to arrive. The professor, Laura, has been speaking to someone online and has decided on this first date, but she is also quite nervous since the man has not arrived. Soon, the date, named Reggie, calls Laura and asks for directions to the restaurant, saying that he is new to the city and hardly knows the streets. After some time, he asks Laura to step out of the place and tell him the color of the building so that he can find it easily. An unsuspecting Laura walks out onto the street and then even into a dark, narrow alley while still speaking with Reggie on the phone. However, the tense scene turns gruesome very soon, as Reggie’s voice on the phone turns into the voice of Ghostface, and the iconic figure with the Ghostface mask walks out of the alley and brutally stabs Laura to death.

Unlike the usual setup, we then follow the Ghostface figure, who changes into his normal clothes and returns to the Blackmore University campus. The young man is actually a student named Jason, who, along with his roommate Greg, had been planning this murder for some time now, and both of them are supporters of the legendary Ghostface from the many previous incidents and the “Stab” movies that the different murderers had been trying to make for this long. At present, Jason sees that Greg is not at their apartment, and he then receives a call from the roommate. Although Jason believes that Greg is talking to him, impersonating Ghostface, the call takes a suspicious turn when the voice leads Jason toward the refrigerator in their apartment. Opening the door, Jason is terrified to see Greg’s murdered, dismembered body inside, and the student is then killed by a Ghostface figure. While Jason had only been impersonating the serial killer, he was himself brutally stabbed to death by the mysterious figure. The fact that all this takes place in the close vicinity of Sam, Tara, Chad, and Mindy—the four survivors of the Woodsboro killings from a year ago—who are all students at Blackmore University, makes it obvious that the murders must be related to them in some way.

How Are The Four Survivors’ Lives In New York City Going?

Around a year after the incidents of “Scream 2022,” in which Richie Kirsch and Amber Freeman started a killing spree intending to murder Sam Carpenter and her younger sister Tara, the survivors of the incident are living in New York City. Sam is still heavily disturbed due to the earlier incidents, particularly knowing that her father, Billy Loomis, was the original Ghostface serial killer twenty-five years ago. She is now extremely protective of Tara, and it is for the younger sister that Sam has been living in New York, working extremely hard to stay close to her sister. However, Tara is not very pleased with the situation, as she just wants to forget about those fateful three days and move on with her life. Intending to make a life unrelated to the Woodsboro incident, Tara has started studying at Blackmore University. The Meeks-Martin siblings, Chad and Mindy, are also present as students of the same university, and the four usually stick together. It is not only Tara who dislikes Sam’s presence in New York City; she now has more biased haters as well. Sometime after the incidents at Woodsboro, someone put up a theory on the internet saying that Sam was the actual mastermind behind the killings and that she was the one who made her boyfriend Richie commit the murders before she herself brutally killed him. This theory gained a lot of traction on the internet, becoming viral, and now a lot of young people in New York, especially at the university campus, hate Sam Carpenter for this reason.

After the gruesome murders committed by the two different Ghostface figures are telecast on TV, Sam’s immediate reaction is to take her sister and leave the city. The paranoia that Sam lives in is quite evident from the fact that she stays away from any public gatherings, dates a neighbor named Danny secretly so that nobody will slander him, and the number of locks she has on her apartment door. Tara obviously rejects such an idea, but the two sisters are soon attacked by Ghostface on the streets. They somehow manage to escape and soon have to discuss the possible suspects and any future attacks. Along with the four survivors from Willsboro, who are termed the “Core Four” by Chad, their group of friends now also includes a few other characters. First is an unassuming young man named Ethan Landry, who is Chad’s roommate at the college dorm, and he seems more interested in attending classes and education than spending time investigating murders. Next is Quinn Bailey, the new roommate of the Carpenter sisters at their shared apartment, and Quinn is more engrossed in her various casual affairs with young men. Lastly is Mindy’s new girlfriend, Anika Kayako, and as Mindy herself assesses who the potential suspect can be, she openly says that Anika cannot be trusted since one can never trust a romantic partner in these scenarios. Ethan and Quinn are also looked at through a lens of suspicion, as Ethan could have messed with the university’s system of allotting rooms in order to be friends with the group, and Quinn had herself responded to the Carpenters’ anonymous request for a roommate.

With Ghostface already having threatened Sam that he was going to come for her and Tara, Sam decides to take help from Quinn’s father, Wayne Bailey, a detective at the NYPD. The situation looks more dangerous for Sam when it is revealed that her ID was found by the police at the crime scene of Jason and Greg’s murder. But Wayne seems to put his trust in Sam, and this seems to be because he also knows the pain of having lost a loved one to a tragedy. Wayne’s eldest son and Quinn’s brother had been killed in some unmentioned incident, and since then, Wayne had moved to New York in order to be closer to his daughter and keep her safe. Therefore, he seems to understand Sam’s struggle to keep Tara safe, and the police detective promises to stop the Ghostface. Along with him, an FBI operative is also brought into the case, and this happens to be Kirby Reed from “Scream 4”. Sam and Tara recognize Kirby, as she was their senior in high school at Willsboro, and the two find some more trust in the investigation, even though detective Wayne Bailey is a bit suspicious of Kirby’s motives.

How Does The Group Try To Bring Down Ghostface?

However, the entire situation turns upside down at some point when Ghostface manages to sneak into Sam and Tara’s apartment and launch a series of gruesome attacks on them. At the time, Sam, Tara, Chad, Mindy, Quinn, and Anika were all at the apartment while Ethan had been supposedly attending some extra classes. Ghostface murders Quinn’s boyfriend, or date, first and then enters her room to kill her. By this time, the four friends realize what is going on, and they try to escape the apartment along with Anika. As Chad and Tara go out of the apartment, the rest are locked in, and Sam has to be helped by her neighbor-boyfriend Danny to make a way out of the place. Mindy is also helped out of the apartment in the same way, but Anika is ultimately killed by Ghostface, meaning that only the four Woodsboro survivors and Ethan are now left alive.

As Detective Wayne arrives at the scene quickly, he is left heartbroken to see his own daughter now killed, and he is therefore relieved of the case by his department, too, since there is a personal attachment. However, Wayne does not agree to back down, and he tells Sam that he is going to continue investigating the matter on his own. Wayne is now determined to bring Ghostface down, claiming that the loss of both his children has made him desperate for revenge. On the other side, the very familiar reporter Gale Weathers makes her return once more as she starts to cover the murders in New York City, following her successful book on the Woodsboro incidents. Sam and Tara are still extremely angry at Gale for having written the book even though they had asked her not to, and Sam even feels that Gale is responsible for all the hatred that she was getting online. However, Gale now gives the group a crucial lead by taking them to an abandoned theater building, which she finds to have been rented by Jason and Greg, the Ghostface impersonators with whom the film began. This theater space had been turned into a sort of shrine of reverence by the two young men, as it is filled with the costumes worn by each of the Ghostfaces and also the weapons they had used for their murders. Along with this, numerous crucial pieces of evidence and reminders of the victims are also laid out neatly, exactly like in a museum. Sam sees her father’s items placed behind a glass showcase, and Billy once again appears to the woman, like in “Scream (2022)”, encouraging her to pick up the knife and go on a killing spree.

The group soon comes up with a plan to track Ghostface’s call to Sam, but as it turns out, the murderer is already thinking ahead of them, and he now goes to Gale’s apartment. Here, Ghostface kills the reporter’s current boyfriend before attempting to kill her too. She is ultimately saved when Sam and Tara rush to the place, and Gale is taken to the hospital. Unwilling to play by Ghostface’s rules anymore, Sam and Tara decide to create a trap for the murderer, and they decide the shrine at the theater is the best place to do so. However, on the way to the place, the group of friends gets separated, with Sam, Tara, and Chad sticking together while Mindy and Ethan have to take the next train. Mindy is now also attacked by one of the many figures wearing the Ghostface mask on the subway train because of Halloween festivities, and Ethan has to take her to the hospital. Ultimately, it is only Sam, Tara, and Chad who enter the abandoned theater, and they meet with FBI agent Kirby Reed, who assures them that the plan is going to work. However, Sam receives a call from Wayne Bailey just then, who informs the woman that she cannot trust Kirby since the FBI apparently dismissed the agent after she went through severe mental breakdowns after the last Woodsboro killings. Within a few minutes, a ghostly figure leaps out to attack Tara and Chad, and Sam believes it to be Kirby Reed.

‘Scream 6’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Sam Carpenter?

Although Chad succeeds in avoiding the attack, a second Ghostface jumps in to stab him, too, as is quite expected from the “Scream” franchise, which almost always has two perpetrators. However, “Scream 6” ultimately pulls in a surprise in the end when it is revealed that there have been not two but three Ghostfaces attacking the characters in New York City. These three Ghostface figures are actually NYPD detective Wayne Bailey, his daughter Quinn Bailey, and Chad’s roommate Ethan Landry. As Wayne takes time to explain everything, it is revealed that Ethan is his youngest son, and the eldest son of his who had been killed was actually Richie Kirsch. Ever since Sam Carpenter killed Richie in order to save her sister and punish him for the murders, Wayne and his family have been plotting revenge on Sam and Tara. The grieving father could only see evil in Sam and was unwilling to accept that his son’s obsession with the Ghostface icon was anything wrong. The shrine built for Ghostface was actually done with items belonging to Richie, who used to collect all this with the help of his father, the police detective. After moving to New York, Wayne filed false papers to claim that the theater was rented by the college students Jason and Greg in order to avoid suspicion from his family. This was the reason why FBI agent Kirby Reed could not find records of such a rented place in Jason and Greg’s financial records. It is also now clear that Quinn had not actually died, but her death was faked by Wayne since he was the first detective to report at the scene.

Wayne and his two children, Quinn and Ethan, all wanted to not just avenge the death of their son and brother but also make Sam look like the one responsible for everything. It was Quinn who started the online rumor about Sam being the one who made Richie commit the murders, and these rumors had garnered a sort of cult following on the internet. When Jason and Greg killed their college professor by impersonating Ghostface, their next plan was to murder Sam and exact revenge for Richie, whom they believed had been wronged. This was why Wayne had to step in and murder them because he wanted to kill Sam himself and also had a different plan to tarnish Sam’s image. He had planted Sam’s ID at the crime scene so that it would seem like Sam was the Ghostface, and now, too, he orders Sam to wear the Ghostface mask before he can kill her. Wayne’s intention is to tell the world that Sam is indeed the Ghostface and that he had to kill her in order to stop the dangerous criminal. In the end, Sam Carpenter does have to don the costume and mask of her father, the original Ghostface, and also use his infamous knife to bring down Wayne. Quinn and Ethan are also killed in the end by Tara and Kirby, while both Chad and Mindy survive the attacks, along with reporter Gale Weathers and FBI agent Kirby Reed.

“Scream 6” ends with the idea of her father’s legacy intact in Sam Carpenter’s mind, as she finally seems confident in the fact that even though her father was a murderer, she is a better person than he ever was. Sam does use the same legacy of being related to Ghostface, but she does so in order to save herself and her sister. Although Sam ultimately throws away her father’s mask, it seems like she will not hesitate to pick it up again if a similar need to protect her close ones arises in the future. “Scream 6” also presents a very short post-credit scene, in which Mindy just hilariously comments on the post-credit scene culture while telling the audience that not every movie needs to have it.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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