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Bury Your Gays and Resurrect Them Again: 5 Queer Horror Films To Watch This Halloween

Oh hey! I've been away for a while. Had a bit of breakdown and hit a major depressive episode in which I could not get myself to write. I have been around, mostly working on my podcast and trying to be a normal human being again. This very much implies that I was one in the first place which has been hotly debating and regularly debunked. But I have returned for Halloween. 'Tis in fact the season.

I've started doing this thing on my side twitter where I create a recommendations thread for Halloween because I love horror films and I want to recommend films people might not have seen. Last year, I did a list of films directed by women. This year, it's the gays. Horror is an excellent genre to explore queer issues because life is a nightmare and queerness is often viewed as inherently abject (particularly recently). 

I'll link my full list here but for now, here are 5 films you should watch celebrate the spooky season:

The 4th Man (1983, directed by Paul Verhoeven)

Playing on the trope of the 'femme fatale', The 4th Man follows our protagonist as he has a crisis about the woman he has become infatuated with, convinced that she is murdering her romantic partners and fearing he may be next. Paul Verhoeven can be an acquired taste but I genuinely think this is excellent subversion of genre and gender, essentially plotting the various steps of a bisexual crisis. Probably the most 'up-my-alley' a film has ever been.

Sound of Violence (2021, directed by Alex Noyer)

A recent watch for me. This film follows a young deaf woman as she commits a series of murders with the goal of completing her music project, using the sounds of death and violence to punctuate her art. I found this film had an interesting way of exploring the abusive methods people use to process their trauma and the way murder becomes its own way of communication, particularly if you struggle with human connection. I also just personally love gay people who murder so...

Helter Skelter (2012, directed by Mika Ninagawa)

Highly stylised and sinister, Helter Skelter follows a woman who has been groomed into idol culture and had her whole image and body curated to fit popular trends, only to find herself losing her fame due to competition. She then goes on a path of revenge and destruction to keep herself on top. I found this darkly funny, brashly commenting on gender expectations, and allowing women to be evil in my presence is an easy way to get me to like your film.

May (2001, directed by Lucky McKee)

May follows the titular character as she tries to cope with loneliness and isolation by leaning in to her obsession with her new crush's hands. It's a film that borders on camp but manages to be just the right amount of sincere, affecting in a way that feels strange but familiar. It depicts a very human crisis, amped all the way up and made gay. Very compelling and honestly relatable in the current moment.

New Year, New You (2018, directed by Sophia Takal)

This film reminded me of a recent release, Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022), so I thought I'd also recommend this lesser known film. Part of the Hulu series Into the Dark, the film follows the reunion of childhood best friends as they meet up to celebrate New Year's Eve and old tensions arise. I was honestly surprised how much I enjoyed this satire, particularly the way it handled internet culture, which, if done poorly, can be genuinely exhausting to watch. This was very funny and the ending is disturbing in a way that feels all too commonplace.