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Queer For Fear’s Kimberly Peirce On Why LGBTQ+ Folks Respond So Strongly To The Horror Genre

The horror genre is a tried and true part of the film industry, one that has been consistently profitable for decades. The genre has also historically been embraced by the queer community, leading to more diverse stories being told on screen in recent years including Kevin Bacon's new movie They/Them. Queer for Fear’s Kimberly Peirce recently spoke to CinemaBlend about why LGBQ+ folks respond so strongly to horror.

The horror genre has been experiencing a thrilling renaissance over the last decade or so, but LGBTQ+ folks have long held the genre close to their hearts. Shudder (opens in new tab)’s upcoming documentary series Queer for Fear will examine this connection, as well as how queer characters were portrayed in classic horror flicks like Pyscho. As you can see in the video above, CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell spoke with three of the filmmakers responsible for the series while at San Diego Comic-Con. In that conversation Kimberly Peirce explained why she thinks that horror has historically been embraced by the queer community, saying:

For so long queer people were living their lives, not seeing themselves represented on screen, in institutions. So when they saw these films at least what I’m seeing, is that many of us were like ‘Oh. I feel stimulated by that. Oh that’s interesting. Oh I think I have a read on that.’ For me in particular it was Frankenstein, it was the monster stuff because it was like, ‘Well, I’ve always felt like a bit like a monster.’ Because I’m multiple gendered and it’s got a lot going on.

That’s definitely one perspective on why so many LGBTQ+ plus have found themselves drawn to the horror genre, in movies and TV. Before conversation surrounding representation were happening in the industry, many queer folks identified with outisders from horror movies. That includes both heroes and villains.

Kimberly Peirce’s comments came as she and Queer for Fear collaborators Bryan Fuller and Steak House dropped by CinemaBlend’s interview suite at San Diego Comic-Con. The upcoming Shudder documentary series features some killer queer talent, including Orange is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria and of course Peirce. 

As a filmmaker, Kimberly Peirce has an insider view on both queer characters and the horror genre. Her directorial debut Boys Don’t Cry focused on a transgender male, while also directing the 2013 remake of Carrie. Combined with her own personal experience as a queer person, she’s clearly a resource to the queer community’s connection with horror. In that same conversation at Comic-Con, Peirce expressed excitement in how Queer for Fear will examine this, saying:

What we’re now doing, and what these guys have done, is to articulate the combination of overlap that you’re finding among queer peoples in this material.

Luckily for the horror buffs out there, the wait for Queer for Fear is nearly up. The documentary series is expected to premiere September 29th on Shudder. In the meantime, check out the midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.