The horror genre is full of domains designed to infiltrate you, things that have been used for decades to terrorize the masses. Fear of jumping, the face in the bathroom mirror, the stalking scene – do I need to keep going? It seems that there is nothing left to frighten us, that everything has been done hundreds of times. That is, until one movie dared to do the scariest thing ever: self-empowerment chants.
h/them (or hmm scale down Them”) is the new Slasher movie released Friday on Peacock, which has been described as “a LGBTQIA+ empowering story set in a diversion camp.” It’s trying to bring some authenticity back to mainstream horror. Aside from two bigger names, like Kevin Bacon, to lend credibility and appeal to a wider audience, it has a cast of completely gay actors, which is a huge step up for a major studio movie.
Sure, his conversion camp setting can hold a great deal of horror movie potency; Conversion camps are very real and scary places where fanatical and ignorant families send children to be abused mentally and sometimes physically until they are broken up to the point of “upright”. To put the slasher here, letting the killer out of the camp counselors, could have been a stroke of genius if done right.
It is a pity, then, that all the potential in h/them They are dispelled by bland lettering, illogical writing, and a genuine misunderstanding of the true horrors that exist within these camp gates. Even her masked killer does not give a single jerk. real fears in h/them She was found in her disturbing scenario, especially one scene I would never be able to shake. The only terrifying thing about diversion camp is that your fellow P campers start! nk singalong.
During a touching scene near the middle of the film, two campers, Jordan (Theo Germaine) and Alexandra (Koi Tan), discuss the difficulties faced by young transgender people and their experiences of living frankly after going out. The scene is legitimately touching, and it left me thinking about it for a moment h/them He was going to get some fast food worthy after all. And then, to my astonishing shock, Alexandra started singing “Fuckin’ Perfect” by P! nk to Jordan. Moments later, the other campers joined in one by one to make it a complete musical number.
Oh, how naive we were at the thought cheerful He went and was buried. The dead always come back for one last panic.
If you didn’t know, “Fuckin’ Perfect” is a self-enabled anthem specially designed by P! nk to be a heavy, treacherous earworm. It’s full of barren words, clichés (“Change the voices in your head/Make them like you instead”) and regular messages. Insincere attempt to communicate.
I’ve spent a third of my life trying to escape this song, shunning it on bad Pride playlists and Midwest radio stations when I get home to visit my dad. So it must be confronted in h/themwhen I had nowhere to run after letting my guard down while watching the emotional moment of the movie, it was like stepping into my own horror movie.
There is a special kind of goosebumps that hits my body when I suffer from unbearable embarrassment. They usually show up in the cinema when a trailer comes out and that’s super dumb – or, on the other hand, it’s supposed to be super fancy but totally misses the point (Avatar 2!) – that my body couldn’t help but form a bodily reaction to trying to alert me to enter a fight-or-flight mode. I got goosebumps from head to toe upon watching this scene. I practically passed out when one of the wagon jumped on a bed to do a P! nk counterfeit.
I had to watch it a few times to write the piece you’re reading now, a task that seemed almost unbearable. I even kept my Peacock subscription running for another month after the last episode of Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Season 2 of the journey just so I can get to it h/them Back on the day it was released to write an accurate article – Journalism isn’t dead, guys.
This scene is what some phobia therapists might call immersion therapy, except that I prefer being covered in a pool of snakes. And I hate snakes.
The most shocking thing is that h/them Directed and written by John Logan, who has not only written great films like Heavy rain And the pilotBut he’s also openly gay. He said “I love that song, I love P!nk” almost. “I wrote [the script] To the theatrical version of red mill, where we used P! nk, so it was P! nk in my head a lot.” That, my friend, is what we call a gay fever dream. We get them all after we fall asleep while listening to Britney Spears or Toni Braxton, but the chaos they inspire in our subconscious has no place on screen, at least not like that.
Furthermore, “Fuckin Perfect” from the album P! nk’s most successful, boldly titled, Greatest Hits…so far!!!Exclamation marks are included. While I appreciate the intentional ambition of this title and how it reads like a tweet I made in an obsession, this album also features a little song called “Stupid Girls,” which is the most scandalous song of 2006. So forgive me if I’m not From a sympathetic perspective, P! nk seemed to be living a cornered life when one of the most popular songs in her business was bent on ripping off women for shopping and dating.
Or how about when the P! nk took to the stage at an HRC event (already questionable) and began her speech by saying, “I’m gay…Actually I’m not.” Personally, I think it’s cool and fun to treat going out as a silly little joke. Let’s throw $2,000 in movie royalty her way as a thank you.
I can think of six songs off the top of my head that would have suited this scene better. A little song called “Brave” by Sarah Bareilles. maybe anything Born this way. Oh my goodness, Britney Spears’ “Lucky” could have done the trick in the right context. At least this is a song that would make the audience want to join in instead of groaning out loud. These songs may be no less embarrassing, but at least they can be heard halfway through.
h/them Do not move the needle. She has nothing new to say, and therefore nothing to lose. She may have put her fictional camp in a makeover camp stalked by a (not scary) masked assassin, but I was an outsider and real duress when I encountered an auditory, mohawked assailant whose real name is Alicia Moore. P chase me! nk has been playing this song for years and crashed through the roof of my car doing aerial acrobatics every time it was played on FM radio.
When h/them Finally the screaming stopped and cut to lions, I thought I had escaped from this nightmarish world forever. No more bizarre scenes where counselors attach people to tasers and show them what looks like pictures you can pull up from dotcom screensavers if you search for ‘muscle man’. No more bad haircuts and box-dye jobs. No more singing.
And then there was one last jump: “Fuckin’ Perfect” plays on the end credits. h/them It may not have scared me once, but I still have nightmares for weeks.