To celebrate Women in Horror Month, I will be highlighting some of my favorite undersung female characters in horror
films media each day this month. These posts will contain some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movies mentioned, do yourself a solid and check them out before reading all the way through.
Today I’m celebrating Talvinder Gill from Slasher: Guilty Party. Guilty Party is the second season of Slasher, and by far my favorite of the three. It’s like the game Until Dawn in a TV series.
Talivinder is a character who, like Kit in season three of the series, is only featured in flashbacks but acts as an inciting incident to the main storyline. Unlike Saadia who I discussed in the previous entry of this series, Talivinder is not our final girl or even someone you would think about that much. But just like the titular Jane in The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Talivinder’s lingering presence is what begins the whole story we are in store for.
As I wrote in a previous post, the twists aren’t even the best part of this season in the conventional sense – it’s how the show slowly pulls back more and more layers of previous scenes until the truth and our feelings become increasingly murky and muddled. The way the show toys with our allegiances and sense of morality is a delightful and clever way to explore this type of story.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Talvinder are a great example of this. When we first see Talivinder, it seems like a group of peers conspired against her. Later, we see reasons why they would hate her. After that, we see that Talivinder, just like the other young 20s counselors that surrounded her, wasn’t evil or pure. She was just another 20 year old prone to making dumb mistakes. As the series creator states, he has a lot of sympathy for her.
Although Talvinder is more of a psychological presence and tipping point than an actual regular character in the series, I really like that we see such different inflections of her throughout the flashbacks. Unlike the typical Women in Fridges trope, Talvinder’s arc has some meat and food for thought in it. (And yes I love that I recognized her from Degrassi!).
Hats off to Talivinder for being the inciting character in a twisty and intriguing storyline.