Avoiding queer characters in films is cowardly: Scream 5

Do you like scary movies? Scream 5 has no shortage of slashing and stabbing, but is its queer lineup enough?

The anticipation for this latest entry into the Scream franchise was incredibly high for fans like me. 

Its modern setting gave it more diversity this time around – when Scream 4 came out in the 2010s, it didn’t reflect how the world looks. 

Scream 5 has Latinx and Black characters front and centre, and it introduces its first canonically queer character. 

Mindy Meeks-Martin’s (Jasmin Savoy Brown) queerness isn’t displayed in an unsavoury way; she is who she is. 

This is why modern horror isn’t something to write off. 

Classics will always be classics, but most classic horrors aren’t that diverse.

It’s crucial, in terms of maintaining love and admiration, not to look at them through a modern lens. 

But something that doesn’t sit right with me is how the writers wrote out a sapphic relationship from this film. 

In the original casting call, Tara (Jenna Ortega) and Amber (Mikey Madison) were supposed to have been girlfriends. 

For the longest time, fans believed this relationship would be onscreen.

Unfortunately, that detail was omitted from the final cut, making them best friends instead of exes or lovers, and leaving Mindy the only confirmed queer character in the whole franchise (unless you count the Scream MTV series). 

To me, that seems more cowardly than anything else. Knowing that the movie franchise could have had a visible queer relationship on screen is disappointing. 

The decision could have been because Kevin Williamson, an out and proud gay man, wasn’t the writer behind Scream 5

From what I can tell, the writers and directors aren’t queer themselves, which means problems like this can arise a lot easier. 

It is very iconic that Mindy is the first canonically queer character in the Scream movie franchise. 

Jasmin Savoy Brown being a queer Black woman herself also contributes.

However, it’s strange that Scream 5 gives us visible queerness with Mindy and at the same time has disappointed queer fans by erasing the relationship they were also excited about. 

We can find some relief that various members of the cast are part of the community

Other than the slight disappointments on this front, Mindy does mean a lot to me and is a personal favourite from the new-blood cast. 

She is easily loved, is her own person, and carries on Randy’s (Jamie Kennedy) legacy in a notable way. 

Despite certain creative choices that I dislike about the movie (at least right now), I did have a good time, and it’s still exciting that Scream gave fans something fresh.

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