While reality offers its own daily horrors lately, there’s nothing like a good escapist scare-fest in front of the TV screen around Halloween. Make it a super queer one this year with NewNowNext’s top six LGBTQ fright flick picks, from new release Spiral to gay twists on slashers, serial killers, and Asian ghosts.
First-time feature director Paul Etheredge-Ouzts’s gay slasher flick features a ripped, shirtless killer who wears a devil mask and clutches a razor-sharp scythe while stalking gay dudes in WeHo on Halloween. After checking out the scene of a gruesome decapitation, Eddie (Dylan Fergus), a young cop, and his three horny friends Joey (Hank Harris), Tobey (Matt Phillips), and Chaz (Andrew Levitas) end up targets of the killer (Luke Weaver), who follows them as they drink, dance, flirt, and try to hook up. How did this not launch a franchise?
Watch on Here TV
The Blue Hour (2015)
What initially seems like an artful Thai romance between bullied gay high school student Tam (Attaphan Poonsawas) and Phum (Oabnithi Wiwattanawarang), another teen he hooks up with at an abandoned swimming pool, evolves into a slow-burn ghost story dripping with dread. Beautifully shot and atmospheric, this genre-buster will get under your skin. It’s the perfect Halloween date movie for the Criterion crowd.
Fans of ultra-gory 1970s Italian giallo, Brian De Palma’s most Hitchcockian, erotic work (Dressed to Kill, Body Double), and William Friedkin’s Cruising get a queered-up homage in French director Yann Gonzalez’s tale of a gay porn producer (Vanessa Paradis) whose cast and collaborators are being murdered by a serial killer with—what else?—a razor-sharp, spring-blade dildo. As a bonus, the retro, synth-soaked score is courtesy of Gonzalez’s brother Anthony, a.k.a. M83.
Watch on Amazon Prime
What Keeps You Alive (2018)
Those jonesing for more lesbian cat-and-mouse action while waiting on Killing Eve Season 4 are in for a treat. Spiral writer-producer Colin Minihan’s twisty, darkly comedic survival thriller sees a couple, Jules (Brittany Allen) and Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson), celebrating their one-year anniversary at the latter’s idyllic family cabin in the woods. But the pair is thrust into a violent, terrifying fight for survival after Jackie’s old friend Sarah (Martha MacIsaac) shows up. Gorehounds may want to double-feature this with Alexandre Aja’s splatter-rific High Tension!.
Watch on Netflix
Midnight Kiss (2019)
Gay fashion photographer-turned-director Carter Smith made a creepy splash in 2006 with a homoerotic short about a high schooler who falls in with a sinister circle of bullies, Bugcrush, and gruesome 2008 adaptation of Scott Smith’s novel about flesh-eating plants, The Ruins. Last year, Carter put a gay spin on slasher flicks for Hulu’s horror anthology series Into The Dark with this New Year’s Eve-themed entry about a group of friends spending the holiday at a Palm Springs house while a fetish gear-wearing murderer picks them off one by one. Starring Scott Evans, Augustus Prew, Adam Faison, and Love, Victor’s Lukas Cage.
Watch on Hulu
Canada’s Drag Race judge Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman works his dramatic chops in this creepy, ‘90s-set “social thriller” about a married gay couple and their teenage daughter—Mailk (Bowyer-Chapman), Aaron (Ari Cohen), and Kayla (Jennifer Laporte)—who move into a suburb called Rusty Creek. Suffering from PTSD related to a gay-bashing indicent, Malik becomes hyperaware of signs that their unusually friendly neighbors may be members of a diabolical supernatural cult. Can he convince Aaron and Kayla? Get Out, sis!
Watch on Shudder
Main image: Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman in Spiral.