AMC Networks-owned horror, thriller and supernatural streaming service Shudder has ordered an original feature-length documentary on the history of queer horror in film.
The as-yet untitled doc comes on the heels of Shudder’s Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, about the African American characters and creators who helped define the horror genre.
The new project will explore the works of pioneering queer creators like James Whale and Clive Barker while unpacking the different ways horror cinema has represented — sometimes problematically — the LGBTQ+ community in films like Sleepaway Camp, High Tension and Jennifer’s Body throughout history up to the present day.
The film is written and directed by Sam Wineman (pictured). Fangoria editor-in-chief Phil Nobile Jr. and Stage 3 Productions partner Kelly Ryan serve as executive producers, alongside consulting producer Michael Varrati.
“Growing up I loved watching Andy, a kid like me, outsmart a killer doll in Child’s Play. When I was older, I found strength in fierce and feminist final girls like Sidney Prescott in Scream. I was seeing so many parts of myself in these stories, but it wasn’t until I taught a slasher film course that I realized these and so many of the films I connected to were written by members of my own community,” said Wineman, in a statement.
“While watching Horror Noire, I identified deeply with the discussion of loving a genre and having that love be unrequited. Horror has spent a great deal of time telling our stories undercover, both intentionally and unintentionally. In order to fully understand the depth of how and why, you have to unpack the social context of what it is to be queer at the moment in history that coincides with the films themselves. That story is one that is long overdue, and I am honored to have the chance to share it.”
Nobile Jr., who also produced Horror Noire, stresses the urgency of these narratives, and the need he felt to go into production on Horror Noire when he did, when race in America was on everyone’s mind. “This year feels like that moment for queer horror,” he said. “Something’s in the air right now, and I deeply believe that Sam Wineman is the right voice to tell this story, and Shudder — who understood the importance of Horror Noire and continue to be fantastic allies — is the perfect platform for this story to be told.”
The project is expected to premiere on Shudder next year.