From an early age, the slasher genre has held a special place in my heart and has been a major component in my love for film. Some of my fondest memories as a kid were being cuddled up with my mom or grandmother and getting to witness films like Friday The 13th and Candyman for the first time. As a kid you just feel rebellious and cool getting to watch these movies, but you don’t truly understand yet what you like about them.
Moving to Toronto from a small town at the age of nineteen was the first time I was entirely introduced to the queer scene. More specifically an open and proud community that I would have never really been exposed to three years ago; it’s not that it didn’t exist where I lived either, it just had to be sought out. I remember going to my first gay bar and seeing my first drag show, I was in complete awe. Such an important part of LGBTQIA2S+ history and its community is the drag scene, and the queens who started the revolution at a time where it could have easily resulted in death. So when I sat down to watch Philip J. Connell’s Jump, Darling I already had an instilled excitement knowing that a drag queen character was leading this film. It’s due time for these types of queer stories to be told as a sort of coming of age and I have to say, this one is an incredible installment.
“There came a time where I couldn’t lie to myself anymore.”
In 1968, a little off broadway play that was incredibly ahead of its time came about. A play about a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party, only for an unexpected guest to intrude. It was one of the first times queer storytelling was unapologetically put on stage during a time not nearly as accepting as now; and only two years later a film adaptation came out and garnered one of its stars a Golden Globe nomination. For its 50th anniversary, Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart) revived the play for Broadway with an all star cast led by Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) which ended up being a major hit. This brings us to this year’s film adaptation, with the same cast from Broadway, of The Boys In The Band.
Going into a film not knowing much about it usually makes things more exciting. Not knowing exactly where the film is heading makes things more unpredictable; and we all know trailers spoil too much nowadays so I avoided the trailer for this movie. I soon realized that not knowing anything going into this film may have tainted my experience because the whole time I couldn’t help but wonder, do I care where this is going or is this even going anywhere for that matter?
From a young age, the horror genre has always stood out to me. It was the ultimate escape from reality and the pure adrenaline from being scared shitless was my go to for a good time. The more I got into film, I realized that a large part of why I enjoyed certain films came from whether or not I liked or could relate to the characters. I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) is quite literally why it’s one of my favorite movies. But the older I got and the more I began to understand who I was, I started to notice that I wasn’t necessarily seeing someone like me in horror. There was never the gay friend in a slasher movie, the queer kid who’s part of a family living in a haunted house, or even a gay couple in a home invasion, etc. Thankfully that’s finally changing.