Pride month is such an incredible time of year. It’s full of solidarity, connection, love, and acceptance for both queer folx and allies alike. But this year’s Pride, like so many other things, is going to look a little different in order for everyone to stay safe and healthy. However, just because we can’t march in a parade this year, that doesn’t mean Pride’s canceled. Instead, we’re just going to have to get a little more creative with our celebrations. And for horror fans, we suggest taking this opportunity to snuggle up extra close with the one you love — because love is love — and watch some of our favorite queer horror films.
1. Cat People (1942)
Sexual repression manifests itself as a cursed lineage, doomed to be awakened in Cat People. Haunted by the fear of transforming into a murderous feline beast, outsider Irena must abstain from indulging in that which she desires most. A taboo in cinema in the 1940s, this film is a shining example of the quiet exploration of queer oppression and otherness. Plus, kitties! — Jodie
2. Assassination Nation (2018)
Four high school girls band together against a vicious mob after everyone is hacked and their secrets are exposed online. Assassination Nation is super-violent and bloody and explores the lives of teenage girls today and the barrage of mixed messages and sex-shaming they deal with. But the trans character Bex, played by Hari Nef, is the real reason not to miss out on this one. She’s quick-witted, smart, and dealing with all the trials and tribulations of being in high school, including falling in love. A trans actress playing a trans character is the kind of queer visibility we wish more films would strive for. — Ariel
3. Knife & Heart (2018)
Knife & Heart is many things: a period piece set in the world of gay porn in 1979 Paris, an exploitative slasher, and a surrealist movie about grief. Vanessa Paradis is captivating as Anne, the director of the films in question, who’s just been dumped by Loïs, her girlfriend of a decade. Meanwhile, a masked killer with a deadly dildo (yes, dildo) is on the loose, and the police are underreacting, leaving the community to care for each other and attempt to stop the killer on their own. A challenging watch, but well worth it! — Matilda
4. The Perfection (2018)
After the death of her mother, Charlotte, once a cello prodigy, reconnects with the exclusive school where she was once the star pupil. In the process, she meets the school’s new star, Lizzie, and the fireworks fly. Then, things take a very sinister turn in The Perfection. This twisty little thriller never quite tips its hand until the very end, and when it does, it’s shockingly satisfying. And the final shot, well, it’s perfection. — Rachel
5. Creatures From The Pink Lagoon (2006)
Referred to as The Boys in the Band meets Night of the Living Dead, this wacky little gem plays upon the gay and horror stereotypes of movies of yesteryear. When a group of seven friends gets together in a cabin by the pink lagoon (next to rest stop 5) they plan on having a boys weekend and celebrating Phillip’s birthday. Unbeknownst to all of those around, the local chemical plant has been dumping waste in the pink lagoon, causing bloodthirsty mosquitoes to turn their victims into zombies. Campy, snarky fun ensues in Creatures From The Pink Lagoon as the friends try to stay alive. A cubic zirconia in the rough, but a fun little ride. Available on DVD. — Sarah
6. What Keeps You Alive (2018)
On their first wedding anniversary, lesbian couple Jackie and Jules travel to Jackie’s remote family cabin to celebrate in What Keeps You Alive. What feels like an indie romance to start soon turns deadly when Jules begins to suspect she might not know Jackie as well as she thought. This bloody cat-and-mouse horror movie succeeds because Jackie and Jules feel like real people with authentic chemistry and the film never fetishizes them, as is so often the case with queer characters in genre films. — Ariel
7. Thelma (2017)
Shy, quiet Thelma comes from a strict religious family and begins to make friends when she goes to university. When she develops an attraction to another girl, she begins to have seizures and unlocks telekinetic powers. It’s a fascinating story of loneliness and liberation. — Jodie
8. The Hunger (1983)
A staple of goth slumber parties of the ’80s, this vampire classic stars Catherine Deneuve as a vampire losing her companion (David Bowie) and seeking to seduce a replacement (Susan Sarandon). Sexy and perverse in a very ’80s way (vampires! sexy lady scientists!), I’m guessing every VHS copy of The Hunger in existence is worn thin to the breaking point after lots of rewinding for one particular sex scene. — Matilda
9. Sick Girl (2006)
An episode of the largely excellent first season of Masters of Horror, Sick Girl still manages to stand out as one of the best of the pack. This is thanks to its excellent body horror, quirky vibe, and the truly compelling love story at its core. Ida is an awkward entomologist who isn’t exactly lucky in love (having an apartment full of insects will do that) until she meets Misty and the two fall quickly in love. That is until one of Ida’s little six-legged friends starts getting bitey. — Rachel
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 & Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street
What list of LGBTQ+ movies would be complete without this gem? This was the first Nightmare movie I ever saw and one of my favorites. Often referred to as the “Gay Nightmare Movie,” A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge has stirred some controversy over the years. Screenwriter David Chaskin has had a changing narrative on the gay subtext of the movie, even going as far as blaming openly gay activist and star of the film, Mark Patton, for bringing “the gay” to the film’s main protagonist, Jesse. However, for a generation of young LGBTQ+ folx, this film was our first introduction to a gay character portrayed positively on screen.
All of this is addressed in Mark Patton’s documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, (a bonus movie to add to your must-watch list this month!). In the doc, Mark opens up about the turmoil of his personal life around the time of Freddy’s Revenge and how the gay subtext of the film essentially put the brakes on his career. The documentary also features the cast and director of the film discussing the impact it had on Mark’s life and Mark addressing the changing narrative of Chaskin. This is a must-see documentary for all horror fans. — Sarah
Have a happy — and safe — Pride! And let your creepy flag fly high, too.