With a title like They/Them and a setting of an LGBTQ+ conversion therapy camp, the debut film from director John Logan already has a lot going against it.
The horror film, starring Kevin Bacon as Owen Whistler, follows a group of queer campers who join Whistler’s camp for a week of ‘programming’ that’ll open their eyes to a new perspective of who they really are. To put it bluntly: it’s (assumingly) a week where Whistler and his wife Cora, played by Carrie Preston, subjugate the campers to a week of conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy has been addressed in LGBTQ+ films and other mediums plenty of times, such as with But I’m A Cheerleader and Boy Erased, often through documentaries or with a satirical angle. This time, however, the They/Them film looks as though it won’t be shying away from the true horror that runs rampant through these cruel camps.
Described as an “a queer empowerment story set at a gay conversion camp”, They/Them is a slasher-horror film that will have psychological elements that viewers will find unsettling. While the conversion therapy camp is enough to perturb the campers, there is also a mysterious killer that has started picking people off at the camp too.
The full cast can be found below:
- Kevin Bacon (he/him) plays Owen Whistler, the conversion camp director who runs Whistler Camp alongside several counsellors including his wife, Cora.
- Carrie Preston (she/her) plays Cora Whistler, a licensed therapist in charge of the campers’ therapy sessions, and the wife of camp director Owen Whistler.
- Anna Chlumsky (she/her) plays Molly, the camp’s medic and newest employee.
- Theo Germaine (they/them) plays Jordan, a transgender and non-binary camper from a religious background who has made a deal with their parents to legally emancipate if attending Whistler doesn’t “work.”
- Quei Tann (she/her) plays Alexandra, a transgender woman whose parents have threatened to kick her out of the house if she didn’t attend the camp.
- Austin Crute (he/him) plays Toby, a gay camper who negotiated with his parents for a trip to New York in exchange for a week at Whistler Camp.
- Monique Kim (she/her) plays Veronica, a bisexual camper who wants to stop fighting who she really is.
- Anna Lore (she/her) plays Kim, a closeted lesbian camper who puts on a perfectly crafted front for her family and friends, assuming that when she fits in, she’ll finally be loved.
- Cooper Koch (he/him) plays Stu, a jock with aspirations of a swim scholarship and joining his father’s fraternity – things he doesn’t feel he can achieve if he’s open about being gay.
- Darwin del Fabro (he/him) plays Gabriel, a sensitive gay camper tired of the persistent name-calling and bullying he’s endured his entire life.
“They/Them has been germinating within me my whole life. I’ve loved horror movies as long as I can remember, I think because monsters represent ‘the other’ and as gay kid I felt a powerful sense of kinship with those characters who were different, outlawed, or forbidden,” says writer and director, John Logan. “I wanted to make a movie that celebrates queerness, with characters that I never saw when I was growing up. When people walk away from the movie, I hope they’re going to remember the incredible love that these kids have for each other and how that love needs to be protected and celebrated.”
The film will debut (exclusively) on Peacock. “Original films will be an integral component of Peacock’s content offering, and we are thrilled to partner with Blumhouse on They/Them streaming exclusively this summer,” says Val Boreland, Executive Vice President, Content Acquisition, NBCUniversal Entertainment, Television and Streaming. “The film is not only entertaining and thrilling, but also empowers its audience with its message of acceptance in a way that only a creator like John Logan could imagine and then bring to life.”
They/Them will debut on Peacock, August 5 2022.
***Originally published in GAYMING Magazine by Aimee Hart.