Okay, first things first: I have actually written this article before. This isn’t the first time I’ve taken a look at LGBTQ horror, but it being Pride Month and all, I figured that the spooky and gay amongst us might enjoy a few more movies with which to celebrate. After all, horror is gay – and this month of all months, we deserve to celebrate that, don’t you think? Happy Pride month, to the LGBTQ amongst our lovely readers – let’s get to it!
Hate crime, horror, homosexuality in nineties Canada – Spiral (not that one) is a bleak but brilliant queer suburban horror that delivers on the slow build of dread as much as it does with a killer climax. Jeffery Bowyer-Chapman leads in a career-best performance, and Spiral uses the horror of oppression and small-town hate to unfold a legitimately haunting and beautifully-constructed nightmare.
2. Good Manners
There is a distinct shortage of great werewolf horror in the world right now, but Good Manners is here to fix that. A strange fantasy piece revolving around the supernatural offspring of a lesbian werewolf, it’s an off-beat parenthood drama that mixes queer love with a beautifully-rendered story of raising a child you never expected to call your own. Isabel Zuua is just outstanding as Clara, the woman left behind to raise the lycanthropic child, and this tender, emotional, distinctly odd little gem finds family in the most curious of places.
3. The Perfection
The Perfection was one of the best films of 2018, and that’s just the way it is. Following the manic journey of a couple of talented lesbian cellists as they grapple with the abuse they suffered at the hands of their mutual mentor, it’s genuinely terrifying, unsettling, twisted up with wit and a stunning soundtrack that carries the whole thing along. Allison Williams and Logan Browning are both just astonishingly good, and their romance is treated with genuine heart and care even amidst the horror of their mutual story. It’s prestige genre pulp soaring into genuine brilliance, and if you haven’t seen it yet, take this as your promise that it’s worth it.
4. Knife + Heart
If you have the same love for the Giallo genre that I do, this is the movie for you. Following a producer of gay pornography in Paris in the late seventies as a killer works their way through the cast and crew of their latest feature, it’s a gleefully referential throwback. Stylised into an almost unbearably slick and referential throwback, it’s gory, sexy, , led by a great performance from the iconic Vanessa Paradis, and packed with actors from all over Europe’s queer cinema scene – Knife + Heart is slightly ridiculous, but also offers a genuinely entertaining homage to Giallo against an intriguing new backdrop.
5. Memento Mori
Technically the second part of the Whispering Corridors series, Memento Mori is a South Korean classic that comes into its own aside from its predecessor. Following the slackening of certain censorship laws in the country, a number of movies featuring explicitly LGBTQ characters flooded the industry in the early noughties, and perhaps the most iconic in terms of the horror genre is this one. Using the all-girls’ school setting of Whispering Corridors, Memento Mori tracks the story of a pair of teenage lesbian lovers who met a tragic end after the pressures of their culture grew too much – it might not be the jolliest expression of queer romance, but it is a genuinely iconic piece of South Korean queer cinema, and a very serviceable little ghost story on top of that, too.
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(header image via ReFrame)