Saturday, March 2, 2024

Scream Had A Video Game Before It Was a VH1 Show

Who would have thought there would be so much inclusiveness in a horror film series, even though Wes Craven was always ahead of the times?

“I’m gay! I’m gay!” It was this line delivered by Erik Knudsen as his character in Scream 4, Robbie Mercer, was being attacked by Ghostface that blew the closet door open for further queer characters in the Scream universe. Often regarded as a rule that helps you survive longer in a scary movie, the fact that Robbie confessed to being gay on his deathbed has set up a continued debate between fans for eight years. Was Robbie really in the closet, despite his pining for Olivia, or was his exclamation a cheap way of surviving until the final act? Truth is, we’ll never know.

Scream 4 was a slight disappointment at the box office in 2011 and crushed the intention that the new movie would be the first film in a new trilogy. A few years later, Wes Craven announced that his universe would continue as an MTV scripted series; although none of the original locations, cast members, costume or source material would return. What we ended up with was an abyssal two seasons of “Scream: The TV Series” and a spin-off Halloween movie that left on a cliffhanger. When the plug was pulled on a follow up season, the 300,000 live viewers still watching the show had their hopes dashed – but the LGBT community was left with something more to celebrate.

“Scream: The TV Series” introduced us to a smart, sassy lesbian named Audrey Jensen. She was the Tatum Riley to Emma Duval’s Sidney Prescott, even though it was revealed in season two that Audrey was partially -responsible for the massacres brought on by the new killer – The Lakewood Slasher. Her first girlfriend, Rachel, was killed by the slasher and staged as a suicide in episode 1.02 and her second girlfriend, Gina, is heavily featured in the tie-in movie “Scream: The Halloween Special.” While this falls into the equally debatable Hollywood Kills Gay Characters stereotype, Audrey survived all these ordeals and is hopefully living a happier life.

After a three year hiatus, “Scream: The TV Series” returned as Scream: Resurrection and premiered on VH1 during a three night event hosted on the 8, 9 and 10 of July 2019. This time, the original Ghostface costume and voice actor returned to torment a brand new set of characters in a completely different location. Now the gay representation was found with Manny, an out high schooler heavily regarded as the smartest person in the room. Unfortunately, Manny met his demise in a pitch-black cornfield at the hands of Ghostface in episode 3.03; and in episode 3.04 the hottest jock in town divulged to Kym (Keke Palmer) that he and Manny were secretly an item. This was a defining moment for young people who may be hiding a part of themselves from their loved ones, and a painful picture of the reality that many queer people face.

So, if you’ve been a fan of everything Scream and want to play a video game in a franchise that has been supporting queer characters for eight years, well, you’re kind of out of luck. Right around the time that Scream 4 hit theaters, a mobile game was released to cell phones. In the game, players take control of Ghostface and hack their way through groups of teens in different locations; much like Friday the 13th was doing up until recently. Finish off all the horror film archetypes in stereotypical locations without being foiled by the police, who are always just seconds behind you.

Although the app developed by Beefy Media and Codeglue is no longer available to Android and iOS users, game-play footage is still available on YouTube. And on 18 June 2019, Ghostface became a downloadable character in the popular Dead by Daylight game on PlayStation 4 and XBox One. I guess you can’t keep a good killer down!

Michael Therkelsen

[He/Him] Michael was born and raised at the Jersey Shore and he loves love horror films, video games, hiking and cooking. He auditioned for American Idol in season 6 and worked as a vet tech before finally discovering his passion for writing. He has several short stories available for purchase on e-readers, and is obsessed with UFC, American Ninja Warrior and running half-marathons. With a wide area of interests and hobbies, he's excited to help other people in the LGBT community discovery the world of gaming.