“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.

Going into this, I was not expecting it to be one of the most chaotic and stressful films to have come my way this year. The sheer messiness of this film was almost too much at times, and I say this as someone who absolutely loved every second of it. 

For Emma Seligman’s (Shiva Baby, Void) feature directorial debut, we follow Danielle; a young student who runs into her sugar daddy at a Jewish funeral service with her parents. The chaos that radiates from that short description alone is nothing compared to the events thrown our way throughout the experience.

Going into this movie, my first thought was “is this sequel really necessary?” I mean, the original Babysitter ended up being one of my favorite films of the year, along with having an insanely awesome ending! The cast delivered in all areas and we were introduced to the incredibly charming and badass Samara Weaving (Ready or Not, Hollywood). So again, was this necessary? The answer is no. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t welcomed. 

When it comes to relationships, everyone has a different perception of what love is and what it looks like. This perception stems from not only our own experiences but from what we’ve seen of others; our parents, our friends, movies, etc. But then we add trauma and baggage into the mix and that’s what changes everything. It can take things out of our control and end up sabotaging those relationships and this idea of love that we had to begin with switches up with every relationship that we enter. This is what the film Cicada examines and believe me when I say, it is quite the rollercoaster.

When Netflix released the first season of Trinkets last year, I felt like I was one of the last to hear about it along with even caring enough to watch it. If we’re being honest the marketing wasn’t great and it felt like it was going to be another cheesy, poorly executed high school drama that we’ve seen over and over again. While it was at times cheesy, the execution and story was much better than anyone could have anticipated and many of us were left craving more. Well, we finally got it and to start this off I have to admit, it surpassed all my expectations in the best ways possible. 

Over the years, films about religion and sexuality have become much more prominent and less taboo. We’ve deepened the examination of sexual repression within the Catholic and Christian church, more specifically in the early 2000s and before then. Although many of the churches have adapted and continue to adapt, there’s no forgetting the repression that queer people and women went through; and many continue to experience within their own religion. 

In our world today, technology and apps have not only allowed us to order rides from complete strangers but also rent someone’s home, room or cottage for the desired time. You just pick a date, show up for the keys and it’s yours for the weekend without ever really knowing exactly who you’re renting from apart from face value. Most people who participate in this system are more than likely comfortable with the idea, myself included; but what if the fear of being watched or recorded without your knowledge was brought to life. In the case of The Rental, that is exactly what’s demonstrated on screen.