Queerness holds different definitions for different people. But one of the primary meanings of the word implies to be not of the norm, to be othered. Othered characters exist all across the narratives we see in media, but nowhere are they more prevalent than in the world of horror. The horror genre explores otherness in all its forms, and by the same token, it explores queerness and the queer fight to survive. And that is what Shudder’s upcoming documentary Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror is all about.
Although the queerness of horror may not always seem overt to viewers, for queer people watching, it has always been salient and has made generations of audiences feel seen. This incredible documentary seeks to delve into the many queer tones of horror and bring them to light in an insightful way that is sure to enhance future viewing experiences.
Even just a sneak peek of this queer horror documentary does just that. Take a look at the first clip from Queer for Fear.
The video’s description shares, “In this extended clip from Shudder’s upcoming docu-series Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror, filmmakers, experts and critics discuss Hitchcock’s casting of Anthony Perkins to play Psycho’s Norman Bates, with reflections on his father’s life and career from Perkins’ son, filmmaker Oz Perkins.”
I strongly urge you to watch the clip for the full effect. But suffice to say, the conversation in it blew my mind. This Queer for Fear sneak peek offers a thoughtful and layered analysis of the film, complete with insights we may otherwise have never gotten to hear. And all of this combines to pack one hell of a punch. A must-see documentary, for sure, especially for those entrenched in queerness.
Queer for Fear‘s overall synopsis reveals more about what we can expect to see:
From Executive Producers Bryan Fuller and Steak House, Queer for Fear is a four-part documentary series about the history of the LGBTQ+ community in the horror and thriller genres. From its literary origins with queer authors Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Oscar Wilde to the pansy craze of the 1920s that influenced Universal Monsters and Hitchcock; from the “lavender scare” alien invasion films of the mid-20th century to the AIDS obsessed bloodletting of 80s vampire films; through genre-bending horrors from a new generation of queer creators; Queer for Fear re-examines genre stories through a queer lens, seeing them not as violent, murderous narratives, but as tales of survival that resonate thematically with queer audiences everywhere.
For queer people, used to being rejected by the normative societies around them, horror has always been a refuge. And Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror will finally tell that meaningful story in full. Queer for Fear will release on Shudder on September 29.