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The Killers from Scream: Are they …you know…?

25 years after the original premiered, we have been gifted with the trailer for Scream, the fifth movie in the franchise of the same name. It promises more of what we’ve come to expect from those movies: Sidney Prescott(Neve Campbell), a distorted voice on the phone, that familiar mask, and teenagers being offed one by one. I, for one, very much appreciated the sight of the daddy version of Dewey(David Arquette) we’ll get treated to in this film.

Those of us familiar with the original Scream definitely recognized some locales displayed in this new trailer as well.  We’re going back to Woodsboro! Even more importantly, we’re going back to Stu’s house, **Spoiler Alert** the scene of the climactic bloody battle of the original movie! You remember Stu(played by Matthew Lillard), right? He was the boyfriend of Tatum(Rose McGowan) andthe best friend of Billy(Skeet Ulrich). Together, Billy and Stu plotted and planned the murders of many of their friends and neighbors. But was that all that went on with those two? To me, there seemed to be a bit of homoerotic energy between them. We’ve all seen that still from the movie. Which one, you ask?

Throughout cinematic history, many villains in films have been queer coded, or branded with queer attributes. Norman Bates was a single man obsessed with his mother. Come on now. Hell, even Ursula was based on the legendary drag queen Divine. Actually, Disney was the biggest culprit in queer coding villains. Just run down the list of Disney villains and think about how queer many of them seem to be. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

…mmm-hmmm. Told you.

Anyway, do you think it’s possible that the writer of Scream imagined his killers as secret lovers? Oh, did I mention he was gay too? Kevin Williamson was a promising, young writer when Miramax bought his screenplay for Scream. He then went on to write such films as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2 as well as creating the hit TV shows Dawson’s Creek and The Vampire Diaries. He’s also been out as a gay man since 1992 and is in a relationship with Fashion Police co-host George Kotsiopoulos. It is very possible he threw some gay undertones into his screenplay.

I recently re-watched the original Scream to see what hints I could glean to support this theory. I do have to say that there wasn’t a lot of overt gayness in Stu and Billy but I was able to form an opinion of my own: Stu is probably bi or maybe fully gay and in love with Billy. Billy is straight but knows that Stu is infatuated with him and uses that to his advantage. How did I come up with this? Come with me on this journey:

1. First off, Stu is VERY misogynistic. He makes horribly sexist comments about women throughout the movie, claiming that women can’t possibly do things men can do. True, he makes that point about murder but still…Also, he seems to overly objectify women. It can be said that he is just being driven by teenage hormones but it could also be said that he may be putting on a show or doing it to hide something….you know, like strong feelings for his male best friend…

2. Stu hangs on every word that Billy says. He’s quick to support everything that Billy does. And when the shit really hits the fan near the end of the movie, Stu jumps at the opportunity to get unnecessarily close to Billy and to look at him lovingly. (See the aforementioned still photograph above for reference.)

3. There is actually not a lot of murders in Scream. When you take a closer look at both who is killed and who does the killing, you can see that the motive for most of the murders is revenge.

Casey (Drew Barrymore) and her boyfriend, Steve, were killed because she dumped Stu for Steve. I believe the high school principal was killed for probably punishing Billy and Stu in the past. But there are two killings in the film that made me look a bit deeper. Firstly, why is Tatum, Stu’s girlfriend, killed? She did nothing wrong to Billy or Stu. I believe Stu killed her just to get her out of the way so he could pursue Billy after their plan worked. Secondly, Sidney’s mother was killed by Billy and Stu the year before the action of the film takes place. Billy reveals that the reason he plotted to kill her is because she seduced his father and caused his mother to leave. When he reveals that fact though, Stu has a confused look on his face because he believed that they killed her because she was just a “slut” and deserved it. I believe that Billy used Stu’s aggressive misogyny and secretive lust for him to get Stu to do his bidding in that initial murder.

Maybe I’m looking too deep into this. Maybe I’m not. I don’t think we’ll ever know. But it’s fun to look at things through a queer lens. We just tend to make things more fabulous. Why do you think so many Disney villains are queer coded? I’m just saying…

I’d like to thank you all for coming to my Ted(Bundy) Talk. ‘Til next time, folks! Happy Halloween, Queers!!

Jason Shavers
Jason Shavers is a born and raised Pittsburgh native. He is an actor that has worked extensively on stage and not so extensively on screen. Jason is also a self proclaimed expert on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Musical Theater and sitcoms that feature 4 women leads. Yeah, he’s gay AF. Follow him on Instagram. (He / Him / His)