The most recent trio of films I knocked off my “to see” list have two things in common—varying degrees of scaries and fairies. So just how fearific and queerific are The Killing Gene, Safe Inside, and Mister White?
THE KILLING GENE (2007)
The director of the shockingly brutal film The Children brings us a police procedural serial killer film that is shockingly boring…until the final act, when it’s shockingly torture pornish as all fricking hell…with some gay stuff thrown in to really rattle the victims.
Stellan Skarsgård of Mamma Mia is fantastic as the lead detective, and horror queen Melissa George is rather wasted as his rookie sidekick.
They’re investigating brutal homicides on the wrong side of town…for the whole movie. The seedy setting is unnerving and the dead bodies look grisly, plus the supporting cast includes Tom Hardy and Selma Blair, but damn does this shit drag.
Then the killer abducts Skarsgård and ridiculously gorgeous Ashley Walters.
It’s awesome in that the killer totally exploits the homoeroticism of the two shirtless, bound men…but sucks in that the killer does such vile things it made my stomach turn.
SAFE INSIDE (2017)
If you’ve seen Jason Paul Collum’s gay horror film October Moon and its sequel November Son you’ll feel in familiar territory with Safe Inside. It features the return of horror queens Judith O’Dea and Brinke Stevens, the house in which it takes place feels the same, down to the notable horror movie posters on the walls, and it has a similar vibe of one man threatened by a sinister male presence in the house.
However, while that 2-film series had a specific gay stalker theme, this film is more heterosexual in theory. However, the queer horror sensibilities are undeniable, and not just because of the feeling of extension of the other two films if you’ve seen them.
- The main guy has performance issues with his woman.
- He has an almost Norman Bates like obsession with his dead mother.
- Brinke Stevens is pretty much his fag hag, even though he’s straight and she’s a lesbian in the film.
- In an early scene, there’s reference to a dude in a restaurant having the hots for him.
- There’s this shot.
- And this shot.
- And this one.
Many of the scares are presented in dreams, for a majority of the horror is psychological. The main guy has emotional issues, just inherited his dead mother’s house, and has to stay there alone while his woman goes away on business.
He hears noises, sees things, and grows paranoid as he becomes convinced that a black, scaly man his dying mother used to claim to see standing in her room is real and in the house with him.
My favorite scene is when Brinke comes to stay with him and explores the house while he’s sleeping. Eek!
This is a slow burning tension-builder, and the twist is most definitely not what you’d expect.
MISTER WHITE (2013)
While it reminded me of the film Devil’s Domain, this bullied kid gets revenge flick actually came three years before that one. It also entertained me most out of this trio of films.
The first half focuses on how cruelly the effeminate, main weirdo goth boy with a stutter is treated by all the other kids at his school. He has a crush on the only girl in the group who tries to stop the rest of them from targeting him.
It’s quite realistic when the other girls are shocked that he is not gay, which speaks to societal assumptions about males, masculinity, and what is considered acceptable behavior for heterosexual men.
There’s an odd and unexpected transition to explain the main boy delving into the occult in his plan to get revenge, which leads to an entire period piece flashback segment about slaves that used black magic on their sadistic owner.
And then comes the best part.
The final act delivers a hokey late 90s direct-to-video slasher feel.
The main boy conjures a vengeful killer that goes around slaughtering the hell out of all the assholes.
The kills are gory cheesy awesome, and there’s a gay twist that has nothing to do with the main boy!