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Queer horror films and series you need to queue up for your Halloween weekend marathon

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — With Halloween right around the corner, many are preparing their lineup of horror movies and series to binge. The long Halloween weekend ahead of us just isn’t complete without a good scream-worthy marathon that’ll keep you up at night — whether it be from excitement, fear, laughter, or both!

When it comes to the cinematic history of all things horror, queer people have always been present but mostly through layers of metaphors and allegories, queer creatives behind-the-scenes, and subtext and homages that aren’t always picked up. Thankfully, in recent years, as media has gotten more diverse, horror has grown in a way that has allowed for explicitly queer characters and stories to be front and center and further enrich the nuances and conventions of the beloved genre.

For this movie and series roundup, here are some excellent queer halloween picks from recent years that you’re gonna want to queue up.

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Los Espookys (2019 – present)

HBO’s Los Espookys has received nothing but praise for its biting humor, eccentric characters, and unabashed queerness. While this isn’t exactly a horror, the show is definitely a love letter to the weirdness, extravagance, and ingenuity of both the horror genre and those who love it. The series centers on a group of queer, horror-loving friends who decide to turn this passion into a business where they stage horror film-like situations. Amid the wacky jobs and equally wacky clients and hijinks that occur, an eerie but still wonderfully bizarre strain of real supernatural horrors and magic courses throughout the show, giving it that extra sincerity, thrill, and intrigue.

Bodies, Bodies, Bodies (2022)

This movie is the perfect pick for those who don’t mind not taking horror too seriously and whose favorite thing about slasher flicks is the campy ridiculousness that comes with it. When Sophie brings her girlfriend Bee to a mansion in the woods for some partying with old friends she’s fallen out with, she didn’t expect the chaotic night to take a murderous turn. With its hilarious satirization of Gen Z culture, fun twists, and wildly entertaining characters that make you second guess who to root for and trust, this movie will have you both laughing and screaming.

Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)

It’s an understatement to say that horror aficionados are no strangers to Mike Flanagan’s works, but when it comes to queer fans, that’s especially true for the director’s 2020 release. Haunting of Bly Manor follows a lesbian protagonist, Dani, as she flees to the UK in an attempt to flee the ghost of her ex-fiance, a childhood friend turned soon-to-be-husband whom she was never truly in love with. In doing so, she finds herself as the new au pair to two kids who live in a huge mansion with a tragic past. As it explores the idea of ghosts and haunting through the lens of queer love, guilt, and loss via Dani and her love interest Jamie, this horror tragedy will have you fearful and aching in more ways than one.

The Fear Street Trilogy (2021)

Why settle for one queer horror film when you can have a whole trilogy? Fear Street is a series that follows the tragedies faced by Shadyside, a small, cursed town that experiences a new horror — from classic slasher serial killers to eerie supernatural monsters — every generation. Each movie in the trilogy represents one of the years Shadyside has faced a certain evil — 1994, 1978, and the year it all started, 1666. At the heart of the trilogy are Deena and her ex-girlfriend Sam. As they and their friends find themselves in the middle of their generation’s own reckoning, they try to investigate and break the curse that has spanned decades and taken so much from them and their predecessors.

Spiral (2019)

When Malik and Aaron leave the city and move to a rural small town with their teenage daughter, they believe that this is the fresh start they needed. However, it’s not long until the creeping sense of unease permeates the film. From the hesitation in their neighbor’s greeting when she realizes that they’re gay to the more direct instance of their living room wall being vandalized by a slur, more and more incidents lend to Malik’s suspicion that there is something more sinister at hand and that their presence is not welcomed in this town. The eerie, satanic elements and the sensation of being trapped and targeted start to mess with Malik’s head as they feel like all too similar manifestations of the trauma and oppression he’s been haunted by his whole life

Chucky (2021 – present)

Seeing the latest reiteration of the murderous doll as a queer ally may be strange, but the truth is that the queer narrative in the ongoing sequel series is actually quite fitting. Gay screenwriter and creator Don Mancini says that he’s been sprinkling bits of queerness into the movies since Bride of Chucky (1998) — which is where the campiness of the franchise was really amped up — and took the 2021 series as an opportunity to finally explore those elements in a more direct and personal way. The result is an acclaimed new horror series that successfully drives home the creepy, crude, and violent elements the franchise is known for while being grounded in what’s ultimately a queer coming-of-age story with a gay teenager, his crush-turned-boyfriend, and his friends at the center.

Dead End: Paranormal Park (2022 – present)

Need something a bit more kid-friendly but still delivers on the supernatural elements and creepy vibes? Then it’s time to queue up Dead End. The show follows Barney, a gay and transgender teenager, as he gets a job at a paranormal-themed amusement park. While he never signed up for all the real horrors of the job, he finds himself wanting to stay, strangely finding refuge — something he can’t have at home — among the park’s staff members and creatures. While the horror comedy is for a younger audience, it doesn’t fail to do justice to more mature story arcs, from the queer narrative of acceptance and found family to the deliciously intriguing and sinister past that shapes the hauntings and disappearances around the park.

Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror (2022)

This is an honorary addition to the list that’s important for any queer horror fan to check out. Queer for Fear may not be a horror movie itself, but it’s a four-part documentary series that explores the long history of the relationship between horror and queerness. It should be no surprise that queerness has a strong presence in the history of a genre shaped by camp, gender transgression, alienation, and subversion. This discussion of the evolution of horror through a queer lens is more than warranted; after all, queer creators, queer narratives, and queer audiences have always been a big part of the genre, whether or not that influence was seen and recognized by the cisheteronormative mainstream.

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