PRIME TIME: a gay horror double feature

It’s not often that I get treated to two gay horrors that deliver both the gay and the horror, especially on the same streaming platform. So let’s get into this pairing of Rapture in Blue and Triggered, which offer a good balance of dark and campy when paired together.

RAPTURE IN BLUE (2020)

This short, 49-minute film is the perfect foreplay to the full-length feature. It’s a metaphorical, gay-themed horror flick beautifully and eerily crafted, with fantastic use of effects to capture the distress and turmoil of the main character while creating a true horror experience.

The story focuses on a young man who brings his girlfriend to see the house he grew up in. There’s a new young man living there…and the main guy becomes immediately and unnervingly drawn to him.

This is a compelling dive into the fear of coming out and the shock of feeling same-sex desire for the first time. Concepts of self-loathing and the closet are presented as horrifying specters that terrorize the main guy to his very core.

The foreboding encounters keeps us wondering what’s really going on as the horror escalates, and I was actually reminded of the eerie feel of Carnival of Souls. Every scene has an ominous and surreal feel to it, right down to a club scene featuring a haunting song by an artist that gives off a total Poppy vibe.

Rapture in Blue is sleek and sinister for sure, and loaded with symbolism—you can notice things of significance you didn’t the first time if you watch it more than once.

TRIGGERED (2019)

I’ll say right off the bat that Triggered gets an honorary spot on the homo horror movies page because it focuses heavily on a gay character (who becomes the final boy) and is loaded with male nudity and gay sex scenes. Yummy.

As a fan of Chris Moore’s films (I interviewed him here a while back), I adore him for not catering to the mainstream horror crowd, instead giving voice to the much needed gay horror canon.

Chris just keeps getting better and better at crafting suspense and kill scenes. This is what I’m talking about when I say indie filmmakers shouldn’t be getting it wrong if they’ve been taking lessons from the horror that has impacted them; Chris knows horror and has clearly paid attention to all the films he’s watched in his lifetime, therefore he knows how to deliver the scares. The first scene alone demonstrates his ability to set up effective shots, capture the right camera angles, use shadows, light, sounds, and score to amplify the atmosphere, and time the jumps just right.

After the opening scene, there’s a bit of a jolting shift in tone. Being familiar with his work and his style, I know Chris appreciates b-movie camp and satire of decades past, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to me that it comes on strong as we meet a teenage social justice warrior—she’s over-the-top obsessed with political correctness, cancel culture, and being woke and easily offended at everything to the point of hyperbole.

While some of the mockery is funny, it is excessively demonstrated for a while and the character becomes annoying, but it is the catalyst to her making a major, tragic mistake.

Call in the gay BFF to help her cover up the accidental crime. Borrowing from both Scream and Scream 4, they craft a story of being the victims of a killer, and she becomes addicted to the notoriety of being a survivor.

Meanwhile, the gay guy starts embracing his sexual desires (I can see why)…

…and someone in a mask is brutally killing people. Once the slasher elements kick in, you get all the gay and gore you could ask for.

As a bonus, Amanda Wyss of Elm Street fame guest stars.

Despite my usual quibble about almost every movie I watch—the film is a bit too long, clocking in at 105 minutes—this is definitely one I will be adding to the gay horror section of my film collection.

 

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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