THEY/THEM, pronounced “they slash them,” premiered on the final night of Outfest at the ACE Hotel Theatre in Los Angeles. A Red Carpet with the stars followed by the premiere of the film was the perfect way to close out Outfest’s 40th annual film festival.
The quintessential queer horror film, THEY/THEM, drops on Peacock on August 5th. The Blumhouse-produced, Peacock-released LGBTQ+ empowerment film is the first of its kind: a slasher film that follows a group of LGBTQ+ campers who arrive at a gay conversion camp, where campers will spend their days trying to abolish their queerness.
As if the horrors of psychological abuse that campers will endure at Whistler Camp as they undergo summer conversion therapy aren’t enough, they must also survive a masked slasher stalking them on campgrounds.
THEY/THEM Review – What Works
Director John Logan’s debut feature film, THEY/THEM, delivers a fresh twist on classic horror tropes with nods to popular horror franchise classics such as Psycho and Friday the 13th, while taking a novel queer approach to horror.
For THEY/THEM to simply be produced is a meaningful accomplishment in overcoming the horror genre’s all-too-often heteronormative formula, considering the overwhelmingly conservative codes embedded in classic horror/slasher films: well-behaving white characters and blonde virgins survive while the diverse and/or marginalized characters are generally the first to be picked off in the film.
THEY/THEM Review – What Doesn’t Work
While we’re 110% here for the conversation, THEY/THEM isn’t “horror” genre scary, save for a few jump scares. It’s hard to work as a slasher film if the protagonists don’t know they are being hunted and that there is a killer on the prowl; that information comes fairly late in the film.
What IS scary are the truly horrifying camp counselors and their cruel “treatment” of the teen campers.
A group of teenagers at an LGBTQ+ conversion camp endures unsettling psychological techniques while being stalked by a mysterious masked killer.
Runtime: 90 mins
Director: John Logan
Executive Producers: John Logan, Scott Turner Schofield, Jon Romano, Howard Young
Producers: Jason Blum, Kevin Bacon, Michael Aguilar
Writer: John Logan
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Theo Germaine, Carrie Preston, Anna Chlumsky, Cooper Koch, Anna Lore, Boone Platt, Monique Kim, Austin Crute, Quei Tann, Darwin del Fabro, Hayley Griffith
THEY/THEM premieres on Peacock August 5.
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