In advance of their queer horror documentary, Shudder hosted a special panel this week as part of San Diego Comic-Con’s [email protected] titled Horror is Queer, and the results were as entertaining as they were informative.
The panel, moderated by journalist Jordan Crucchiola, brought together Bryan Fuller (Hannibal), Don Mancini (Child’s Play), Lachlan Watson (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Nay Bever (Attack of the Queerwolves podcast), and Sam Wineman (The Quiet Room) to discuss the intersection and the long history of queerness and horror. Wineman is also directing the upcoming documentary from the streaming platform which previously co-produced Horror Noire.
Horror is queer. Horror is teeming with references to “the other,” a label that many in the queer community have come to embrace after having it thrust upon us for so long. What I loved most about this panel, however, is that it brought together members of the community from different backgrounds with different experiences to discuss what horror has meant to them and how it has played a part in their development.
Nay Bever, for example, spoke of growing up in a strict, religious family where breaking the rules meant you were going to hell and how it was little acts of small rebellion such as watching scary movies that helped her find her own strength. Mancini, meanwhile, points to the fact that he grew up gay with an ultra-macho father who could not stand anything to do with queerness and how both consciously and subconsciously, he dealt with that in writing the first Child’s Play film.
It is a rather meaningful look into the lives of horror fans and creatives who exist on the LGBTQ spectrum. We need more panels like this, more discussions of not only where we find ourselves but also how we found our way into horror.
There are those out there, of course, who will talk about this panel and deny the things that are said about certain films and series despite the fact that the panelists are often talking about their own work. I have discovered in 2020 that I have no patience for that kind of reductive rhetoric. Those comments come from a place of fear and denial. Fear of what it means or says about them that they enjoy these films.
To those people, I say watch it anyway. Take in what is being said, and then take time to think about it before you comment. You might manage to learn something in the process.
You can see the full Horror is Queer panel from [email protected] below and I encourage you all to take 45 minutes out of your day and do so.