Halloween is right around the corner, and there’s no better time to get into the spirit by embracing the weird and usual. Classic Halloween films are all over the place right now, but there are a good number of films that embrace LGBTQ+ identity along with the creepy and scary. Here is a roundup of our all-time favorites.
“All Cheerleaders Die” (2014)
What’s a good Halloween movie without some campiness? “All Cheerleaders Die” is a unique film about cheerleaders that, well, die but are soon resurrected by magic. Now they’re looking for revenge against the football players that killed them, all while trying to fight their own new destructive powers as succubi.
“The Addams Family Values” (1993)
“The Addams Family” films are classics around this time of year, but did you know that the sequel to the popular “The Addams Family” (1991) film was written by gay screenwriter Paul Rudnick? Following the events of the first film, “The Addams Family Values” watches the family as they greet the arrival of a new baby, where the Addams family unknowingly hires a serial killer as their son’s nanny. Siblings Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) also attend a summer camp, leading to the infamous takeover of the camp.
The makers of “Coraline” (2009) made this family film, following a lonely boy who has the power to see ghosts and embarks on a mission to save his town before the witch’s ghost is resurrected. The film is noted for including a gay character in the main cast, and normalizing the relationship he has with his partner. Overall, this is a family-friendly pick.
“The Craft” (1996)
Technically, “The Craft” doesn’t have explicit queer characters but the film is a staple in the queer community. Set in Los Angeles, the film follows Sarah (Robin Tunney), a natural witch and newcomer at a Catholic high school. She soon makes friends with other witches in her classmates, Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Nancy (Fairuza Balk) and Rochelle (Rachel True). However, things get weird once they’re confronted with the consequences to their magic.
“Cat People” (1942)
“Cat People” follows a Serbian-born woman who marries an American man, but their marriage suffers due to an ancient curse: whenever the woman becomes aroused, she turns into a panther with murderous tendencies. This was the first film of its kind to explore psychological horror rather than relying on blood and gore. But it also features themes of repressed lesbianism.
“The Haunting” (1963)
In this masterpiece of psychological horror, a paranormal investigator invites a lesbian clairvoyant (Claire Bloom), an emotionally vulnerable psychic (Julie Harris), and a skeptical heir (Russ Tamblyn) to stay in an eerie mansion that has a sordid past. There’s a 1999 remake of the film, but the original is recommended if you want to truly embrace the magic of this film.
“Jennifer’s Body” (2009)
Ah, “Jennifer’s Body.” The 2009 horror film features Jennifer (Megan Fox) and Anita/Needy (Amanda Seyfried) – two high school girls and best friends whose friendship is tested after Jennifer gets some dark powers after being the unwilling virgin sacrifice for a local band, resulting in a demonic spirit overtaking her body. There’s gore, makeouts, murder, and high school awkwardness, Hollywood edition. What’s not to love?
Though it’s not explicitly stated as such, “Antiviral” may be one of the first transgender horror films. We meet Syd (Caleb Landry Jones), who works at a clinic that injects everyday people with diseases harvested from celebrities. Out of curiosity, Syd pumps himself full of a virus from of-the-moment starlet Hannah Geist. Critics have said that “the film speaks of asexual penetration, alludes to Hannah being gender variant or gender non-normative, and leads us to believe that Syd doesn’t want to do Hannah, he wants to be Hannah.”
What are some of your favorite queer-focused Halloween films?