Great LGBTQ+ horror media has become more visible than ever, so here are the best scary films to watch this Halloween.
It’s Halloween time! Or as many LGBTQ+ people like to call it, “Gay Christmas.” When the sky gets darker and things get spookier, and horror movies become a common pastime.
Horror movies and the LGBTQ+ community have a… complicated history, to say the least. There’s the killing of queer characters and the queer-coding of monsters, but there’s also the films that explore how homophobia is itself a horrifying thing. Since the LGBTQ+ community can be unjustly deemed unnatural or immoral, it’s easy to be fascinated with a genre that explores those very things.
There are a number of horror films that explore LGBTQ+ themes, so we’ve picked out some of the best for you to add to you watch list this Halloween.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
We see you shiver with antici…. as arguably the best cult classic out there, this horror-musical about a couple encountering aliens encourages those who watch it to let their sexual inhibitions loose. This parade is led by Frank-N-Furter, the “Sweet Transvestite from Transexual Transylvania,” played by the ineffable Tim Curry, who has become one of horror’s most iconic characters.
As the film nearly reaches 50 years, many aspects of it can be considered backwards nowadays, but there is no denying how significant this film has been to the LGBTQ+ community… pation.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is currently available to stream on Disney+.
The Hunger (1983)
This film featured a never really seen before LGBTQ+ love triangle, and thankfully the WLW action is far from oversexualised queerbait.
The movie is about a vampire, Miriam, and her desperate need for companionship. She first finds it in eighteenth-century cellist John (played by the iconic David Bowie), but then later she seduces 1980s gerontologist Sarah (the equally iconic Susan Sarandon). It’s riveting to watch the women’s dynamic play out throughout the film, even if things don’t end well between them.
The Hunger is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Jennifer’s Body is a horror-comedy which basically depicts the phrase, “Hell is a teenage girl,” as it focuses on two teenagers, one of whom just so happens to be a succubus. A succubus who “swings both ways.”
The film’s queerness was initially marketed wrong, with scenes of Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried making out being blasted in order to bring in the teenage boy crowd. However, the film is actually an cutthroat look at how intimate and cruel female relationships can be, and with a Bi-con like Jennifer, this film has thankfully become a cult classic.
Jennifer’s Body is available for streaming on Disney+.
What Keeps You Alive (2018)
This psychological thriller involves newlyweds Jackie and Jules, who are having a wonderful first wedding anniversary cabin trip, until Jules gets pushed off a cliff. The one who pushed her? Jackie, who turns out to be a serial killer. Not a great anniversary surprise.
While LGBTQ+ people have often been coded as villains in many a horror film, surprisingly it works here, namely because her own wife is the film’s protagonist. Actors Brittany Allen and Hannah Emily Anderson give fascinating performances, and the film will definitely have anyone looking at their spouse with suspicion.
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What Keeps You Alive is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Interview With The Vampire (1994)
Based on the book series by Anne Rice, this is one of the great American Gothic films. Featuring iconic performances from Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and a 12-year old Kirsten Dunst, this film takes the already sexual themes that vampires have represented since their inception, and pushes them even further.
The show depicts the romantic – and often toxic – bond between two men as they span centuries as vampires, eventually adopting a vampire girl and forming somewhat of a dysfunctional domestic picture. It’s such an intricate relationship that its no wonder that a recent TV adaptation has just come out about the same story.
Interview With the Vampire is currently available to stream on Apple TV.
More vampires, except this one features girl gangs! Bit follows Laurel, a transgender woman who joins an all-female vampire coven. The film embodies the idea of inclusivity, even amongst murderous vampire gangs, exploring how including anyone can ultimately empower everyone.
It has fabulous performances, especially from Duke, the coven’s leader. The film also looks great, with plenty of neon lighting, which has seemingly become a trope of many a modern LGBTQ+ film.
Bit is currently available to stream on Apple TV.
The Perfection (2018)
The Perfection features the story of two women as they attempt to escape a music program that turns out to be a sexually abusive cult. It primarily features the women’s relationship as an opposing force to oppressive power structures.
This relationship between the two leads, Charlotte and Lizzie, is intriguing to watch, as they initially appear as obsessed rivals, with violent fights – and violent delights – often occurring. However, while we won’t fully spoil it here, their relationship takes an intriguing turn after an event that involves bugs and the cutting off of a certain limb.
The Perfection is currently available to stream on Netflix.
Fear Street Trilogy (2021)
Netflix‘s Fear Street is the most recent film on this list. It’s actually three films, as the trilogy’s story is cut up into three different time periods: 1994, 1978, and 1666. However, the relationship that links the three films is that of ex-girlfriends Deena and Samantha. Their love, and the films themselves, explore the theme of bigotry and how it can destroy communities and lives, but also how this hatred and misunderstanding can be overcome.
Director Leigh Janiak told ComingSoon.net that she wanted the people who were often killed off first in horror movies – meaning POC and LGBTQ+ people – to be the main characters in her films. Turns out we may have even more of these characters in the future, as more Fear Street films may be on the way.
All three Fear Street films are currently available to stream on Netflix.