Kevin Bacon’s Horror Film ‘They/Them’ Closes Outfest LGBTQ+ Festival – Deadline
The 40e Outfest’s edition of the LGBTQ+ film festival in Los Angeles is in the books after the world premiere of Peacock’s horror film closing night They they (pronounced They-slash-them).
Kevin Bacon and Carrie Preston star as a couple who run a Christian-oriented “gay conversion therapy” camp in a remote, wooded area, preaching a conflicting philosophy of self-acceptance and what amounts to abnegation. A new bus full of LGBT and non-binary young people show up for “treatment”, most of them sent by their families in the hope that they will learn to conform to societal norms.
Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgwick attended the premiere, with most of the cast and filmmaker John Logan, one of Hollywood’s top screenwriters and three-time Oscar nominee making his directorial debut with They they.
Logan, presenting his film at the Theater at the Ace Hotel, said: “I wrote my first play 40 years ago and I’ve been writing screenplays for 30 years and this is the film I chose to achieve because it’s so personal to me. When I was growing up as a gay little boy, queer characters in horror movies were non-existent. Or if they existed, they were victims or jokes. And I felt that lack. I wanted my favorite genre to celebrate who I was.
Previously on the red carpet, Logan explained, telling Deadline, “Audiences can expect a scary and thrilling movie, but more than that, it’s a story about gay empowerment and about seven gay kids who are heroes, which we don’t see a lot and we really don’t see much in the horror genre, so I was happy to wade in that pool.
He helped the cast get in by providing Bacon and his co-stars with plenty of information about gay conversion therapy, which has been banned in 20 states including California, Colorado, Illinois and Utah.
“Just the idea that when I started looking at research that there was still this idea that people could go somewhere and be converted to be something that they weren’t was such a notion. horrible, as far as I’m concerned,” Bacon told Deadline. “And it’s torture in a way.”
The film will premiere on the Peacock streaming service on August 5, guaranteeing it a large potential audience.
“John wanted to make a movie that he thought would have the potential to grab attention,” Bacon commented. “If you’re doing a little dark indie movie, you can get a few people to watch it, but they’ll probably already be on board with the idea that gay conversion isn’t something that should be happening. So if you frame it in a nice, fun and wild horror movie, then maybe it will get more attention.
Preston delivers chills as camp co-operator Cora Whistler, a stiff-haired woman with a plastered smile who belittles campers with naughty put-downs while ostensibly delivering a message of love. In one sequence, Cora sits down with Jordan (Theo Germaine), urging them to deny their identities.
“I apologized to Theo Germaine before doing the conversion scene in the movie,” Preston explained. “Unfortunately, I feel like my character thinks she’s saving these young people, and she does it in a very dark and manipulative way. But I think somewhere in there she really thinks she’s doing really something good for them, disturbing as it may seem.
Preston adds of the film, “It uses the horror genre to make bold social commentary, which is a great use of that genre. It shines a light on the real horrors of gay conversion and I quote, without quotes, ‘therapy’ – because you can’t call it therapy – and how damaging it is and how it has harmed so many people .
According to the Human Rights Campaign, “so-called ‘conversion therapy’, sometimes referred to as ‘reparative therapy’, is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. of somebody. Such practices have been rejected by all mainstream medical and mental health organizations for decades, but due to ongoing discrimination and societal bias against LGBTQ people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are particularly vulnerable and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and suicide.
Austin Crute (Library) plays Toby, a camper who disagrees with the gay conversion story.
“It’s so rewarding to be a part of a movie like this,” Crute said. “It’s not everyday you sign up for a horror movie about queer empowerment.”
Monique Kim stars as Veronica, a young bi woman who develops an attraction to fellow camper Kim (Anna Lore).
“It’s a movie that I wish existed when I was growing up,” Kim said. “So to be part of the movie like that, I think I’m still trying to process it. But it’s not lost on me at all. There’s going to be a bunch of young gay people watching this, seeing themselves in it. .
Referring to gay conversion therapy programs, Kim added, “Unfortunately over 25 states still have them. It’s still legal in those camps. And over 80,000 young gay people experience it every year, so it’s still very real in this country today. And I hope people will realize that when they watch this movie.
They they comes from Blumhouse Productions, the company behind paranormal activity, get out, The purge, Insidious, and many other notable horror films. In 2020, Blumhouse released You should have lefta psychological horror film also starring Kevin Bacon.
“Blumhouse who I have a history with. We’ve done a lot of work together. They know how scary,” Bacon explained. but being behind the camera, I was like, ‘Okay, yeah, that’s cool.'”
It sums They they in just a few words.
“I would say it’s scary, it’s empowering,” Bacon observed. “And, for a horror movie, it’s touching.”