In the first trailer for “They/Them” from Blumhouse Productions, Kevin Bacon runs a conversion therapy camp designed to help queer teens “find a new sense of freedom.”
As if that wasn’t already a terrifying premise, a masked killer begins to stalk and murder the teenagers, who are also subjected to cruel “treatments” by the camp staff that aim to cure them of being LGBTQ. The campers, led by a trans, non-binary teenager named Jordan (Theo Germaine), must work together to protect themselves and dig into the camp’s past, according to a press release.
The film — pronounced they-slash-them as a shoutout to the slasher movie genre — will stream exclusively starting August 5 on Peacock, the streaming service of NBC Universal, parent company of NBC News.
Germaine, who also starred in Netflix’s “The Politician,” said Weekly entertainment that Jordan doesn’t have “a very positive relationship with their family, and they’ve come out, and they’re like, this is who I am.”
“They want to be legally emancipated, and they make a deal with their parents, which is they go to this conversion camp for a week, and if that doesn’t work out, their parents will step aside and will make it easier for them to separate,” said Germaine, who is non-binary and uses neutral pronouns.
Germaine said that Bacon’s character was friendly at the start of the film, but “he becomes very creepy and creepy as the film progresses”, according to Entertainment Weekly: “I think he represents the way conversion therapy conditions you and tricks you and deceives you.” break down your defenses in an attempt to convince you to change who you are. He’s sort of the embodiment of that idea in this movie.
The film is screenwriter John Logan’s directorial debut. Logan has previously worked on films such as “Gladiator” and “The Aviator.” When Peacock announced the film in May, Logan said “They/Them” had “germinated in me all my life.”
“As long as I can remember I’ve loved horror movies, I think because monsters represent ‘the other’ and as a gay kid I felt a powerful sense of kinship with these characters that were different or off-limits or off-limits,” Logan said. in a statement at the time. “I wanted to make a film that celebrates homosexuality, with characters that I never saw when I was little. When people leave the film, I hope they will remember the incredible love that these children have for each other and how that love should be protected and celebrated.
There was a wide variety of responses to the trailer on social media. Some said the film won them over with its title, calling it “brilliant”.
“They/Them” is considered the first mainstream horror film featuring a non-binary character. At least one social media user celebrated having a new slasher movie to add to the growing queer horror canon.
But some people said they thought the film shed light on conversion therapy, a widely discredited practice that’s banned in 20 states and Washington, DC.
“Who is taking this? Did they consult survivors of conversion therapy? I was NOT consulted and neither were my friends. My conversion therapy story is no joke. It’s not a “horror movie”. It’s my reality,” Matt Ashcroft, who advocates against conversion therapy, wrote on Twitter.
In a emotional videoAshcroft asked, “If this isn’t about ending conversion therapy, what is it?
Another person said they have mixed feelings about seeing queer teenagers being murdered on screen.
“Like what’s the message?” they or they added. “The conversion camp is bad? Homophobia kills? I’m not trying to be cynical but I’m very curious to see how this film unfolds.
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