Scream 6 ending explained: who is the new Ghostface?

Scream VI: Ghostface wielding a knife
Even in New York, you can't hide from Ghostface! (Image credit: Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media)

Warning: SPOILERS ahead for all of Scream VI. Here's how to watch Scream VI if you haven't already.

Scream VI (or Scream 6 if you don't like Roman numerals) is the latest movie in the beloved slasher franchise, and there's a huge change of scenery this time from Woodsboro to the Big Apple.

Following the events of Scream (2022), Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) Carpenter are now living in New York City, hoping for a fresh start. Sam's in therapy and trying to brush off vicious rumors about her, while Tara's trying to get a degree and enjoy the college experience. They're joined in the city by Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding). But their lives are soon disrupted once again, as the group soon finds themselves at the center of another Ghostface killing spree.

This prompts them to seek the help of local detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) and, reluctantly, Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), who is back to her old tricks writing books about Woodsboro murders. 

Along with Tara and Chad's roommates, Ethan (Jack Champion) and Quinn (Liana Liberato), and Scream 4 legend Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere), the group tries to get to the bottom of what's happening in New York.

But what happens in Scream VI? We're answering your biggest questions.

Who dies in the Scream 6 opening scene?

Ever since the first Scream movie back in 1996 with Drew Barrymore, the opening scene kill in a Scream movie has become iconic and highly anticipated for horror fans. 

This time, it's New York resident Laura (Samara Weaving) who fell victim to Ghostface first, meeting a rather grisly demise. The movie opens as she waits in a bar for a date. She receives a phone call from the guy claiming he is "lost." As Scream fans know, phone calls are often bad news.

Samara Weaving in Scream VI

Samara Weaving in Scream VI (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Falling for the trap, she's lured into an alleyway where she is stabbed multiple times by Ghostface, who mocks her for being so careless since she's a film studies professor who specializes in slasher movies.

The killer removes his mask, which is a shocking moment, as it's not often that Ghostface is unmasked this early. It's revealed to be a local college student named Jason (Tony Revolori), who had an arrangement with his roommate to step into the shoes of Ghostface.

However, we soon find out that Jason is not the real killer in the movie, as he returns to his apartment where he receives a call from his roommate, apparently using the Ghostface voice changer. The roommate wants to play a game of Warmer, Colder to reveal his location in the apartment.

It brings Jason to the fridge, where he opens it and finds his roommate's head inside. He's then stabbed by the real Ghostface and left to die. We then cut to the opening title card.

Why did Kirby come back in Scream 6? 

Hayden Panettiere in Scream VI

Hayden Panettiere in Scream VI (Image credit: Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media)

Kirby Reed was the sole teenage survivor of the 2011 Woodsboro Murders depicted in Scream 4, so fans were very excited to learn she would be returning for the sixth instalment of the franchise.

After news of the New York Ghostface murders spread, Kirby arrives on the scene, revealing she's now working for the Atlanta office of the FBI and wants to help get to the bottom of what's going on.

She helps Tara and Sam with their plan to trap the new Ghostface in an abandoned movie theater that's filled with different Ghostface masks and weapons. 

It's basically a shrine, almost like a Bond villain's lair, and this also provides the backdrop for the final showdown where Kirby narrowly escapes with her life for the second time.

Who was Ghostface in Scream 6?

In a first for the franchise, a shocking twist revealed that there weren't just two people responsible for the Ghostface killings, but three, and they've all got a pretty solid motive behind their murderous rampage.

Kirby leads Sam, Tara, and Chad back to the theater, where they set a trap for Ghostface. However, things don't go quite that smoothly and a final showdown sees two Ghostfaces emerge and brutally stab Chad. Chad's twin sister Mindy had also been stabbed on the way to meet with her friends, so it wasn't looking good for Randy's niece and nephew.

After a brief fight, the two Ghostfaces reveal themselves to be Quinn and Ethan, who had wormed their way into the group's lives by playing "the roommate lottery" as predicted by Mindy when she was hypothesizing on how things might go down. In fact, Quinn claims responsibility for all the rumors about Sam, pinning murders on her by writing about her on forums.

Quinn and Ethan did not act alone, though, and the third antagonist is Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney), their father who helped them orchestrate the entire thing. After all, no one's going to suspect one of New York's trusted cops, right?

Dermot Mulroney in Scream VI

Dermot Mulroney in Scream VI (Image credit: Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media)

Now for the motive. Detective Bailey, Quinn, and Ethan reveal themselves to be Richie Kirsch's (Jack Quaid) family, who was one of the antagonists in Scream (2022) and Sam's ex-boyfriend. They want to avenge the death of their beloved son and brother, who loved the Stab movies to the point where he collected all the objects we see in the theater around them.

They want to frame Sam for murder and put a stop to all this, but their plans are thwarted when they're killed by both Sam and Tara.

Who dies in Scream 6?

Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding in Scream VI

Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding in Scream VI (Image credit: Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media)

Aside from the opening kills, Ghostface also murdered Sam's therapist Dr. Christopher Stone (Henry Czerny) and Mindy's girlfriend Anika (Devyn Nekoda). There was also a fake-out death where the group thought Quinn had been murdered, but this was staged by Detective Bailey (though they did kill one of Quinn's flings).

Miraculously, both Mindy and Chad survived their injuries, as did Kirby, with the three being taken to hospital at the end of the movie. Gale Weathers also had a showdown with Ghostface, resulting in the death of her partner, but she made it out of the situation alive despite being stabbed.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress