'They/Them' Review: Kevin Bacon's brilliant slasher film tackles inclusivity in an extraordinary way
After the massive success of the recently released Netflix movies like ‘Fear Street’ trilogy and ‘There’s Someone Inside Your House’, NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, has treated viewers with another perfectly-timed slasher film titled ‘THEY/THEM’. The movie, directed by veteran screenwriter John Logan, revolves around a group of young people from the LGBTQIA+ community being sent to a camp called ‘Whistler Camp’, which is an infamous gay conversion camp run by Owen Whistler (Kevin Bacon). Every young person entering the camp has their own reasons to get there. However, most of them are here because of the pressure put by their parents.
The conversion camp has the words “Respect, Renew, Rejoice” on the sign above the entrance. However, the man leading the camp doesn’t act like a religious man and says that he can’t make anyone straight and is happy with who these people are. A lot of people from the LGBTQIA+ community were a bit skeptical about the movie and how the story would be handled. However, when you have a veteran screenwriter like John Logan behind the script, then you have very little to be nervous for. The debutant filmmaker does a great job in handling such a sensitive topic with precision and also, keeps the movie a fun ride. I mean, it’s a slasher movie and most of the viewers care about body counts don’t worry, this movie has a lot of body counts.
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The most interesting thing about the movie is that it shows how big of a horror fan Logan is. The movie has some really nice references to some of the earlier slasher films. As far as characters are concerned, most of the characters are really surprised to see Whistler’s composure. However, they don’t know that they’ll encounter things like sadism, torture, and humiliation as their stay moves forward.
On the other hand, there is a dangerous killer murdering people in the same area that will make an appearance throughout the movie.
There are some scenes where viewers might feel that things are getting too bleak and that’s where the movie scores because whenever you think things are getting uncomfortable, Logan’s clever script balances that out with well-placed humor.
As far as the acting is concerned, Kevin Bacon once again proves why he is one of the greatest actors of this generation. The way he uses his charm to lure these people to his camp was really extraordinary. He’s so effortless and is undoubtedly the best part of the movie. As fantastic as the older performers are, it’s the younger cast that truly steals the show. Theo Germaine gives a nuanced performance that perfectly showed their skills as an actor. On the other hand, Quei Tann gives a scintillating performance as Alexandra and has some of the most powerful scenes in the movie.
Meanwhile, all the other cast members Anna Lore (Kim), Cooper Koch (Stu), Austin Crute (Tobt), Darwin Del Fabro (Gabriel), Monique Kim (Veronica), and Hayley Griffith (Sarah) are terrific in their respective roles, especially Lore.
All in all, ‘They/Them’ is not your typical horror movie and is far from perfect. But it tackles the subject of “homophobia” in an extraordinary way and pushes the boundaries with some scenes that are uncomfortable to watch. The movie handles the source material with a lot of respect and non-binary people will be really happy to see a horror movie that doesn’t show them as a villain.
‘They/Them’ is an entertaining movie that breaks a lot of stereotypes.