Queersighted: Queer Fear

Queersighted: Queer Fear

13 Episodes

We’re freaking ourselves out in this installment of Queersighted, which features a selection of movies that cast illumination on some of the darker corners of queer cinema. The mission of this ongoing series is to draw out the realities and presence of a non-heteronormative, non-gender-binary cinema that has always existed alongside, parallel to, or underneath the status quo—and there is perhaps no genre that’s better suited to teasing out queer subtext than horror. From Victorian-tinged gothic ghost stories and campy creaky-house movies to gory explorations of forbidden desires and contemporary psychological thrillers, these films—which include movies directed by out filmmakers like James Whale, Clive Barker, and Alain Guiraudie—remind us that queerness has traditionally been seen as the ultimate fear for hetero life, an inchoate threat that cannot be contained. But even when queer figures are cast as villains, their erotic charisma is often the source of these films’ delights—after all, when it comes to horror, it’s the monsters who get top billing.

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Queersighted: Queer Fear
  • Queersighted: Queer Fear

    Episode 1

    This new conversation between critic and programmer Michael Koresky and filmmaker and critic Farihah Zaman, discussing the films in Queersighted: Queer Fear, was recorded in 2020.

  • The Old Dark House

    Episode 2

    Directed by James Whale • 1932 • United States
    Starring Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton

    Director James Whale (FRANKENSTEIN) turned J. B. Priestley’s novel “Benighted” into a nerve-jangling tale that became the template for all spooky-house chillers to come. Stranded travelers stu...

  • The Black Cat

    Episode 3

    Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer • 1934 • United States
    Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners

    Horror legends Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi were paired together for the first in this astonishingly perverse sadomasochistic shocker from cult director Edgar G. Ulmer. While on their honeymoon ...

  • The Seventh Victim

    Episode 4

    Directed by Mark Robson • 1943 • United States
    Starring Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Kim Hunter

    One of the most stunningly nihilistic films ever made, this existential horror masterpiece follows a young woman (Kim Hunter, in her film debut) who leaves her boarding school to travel to Greenwich Villa...

  • The Uninvited

    Episode 5

    Directed by Lewis Allen • 1944 • United States
    Starring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp

    A pair of siblings from London (Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey) purchase a surprisingly affordable, lonely cliff-top house in Cornwall, only to discover that it actually carries a ghostly price—and soon t...

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Episode 6

    Directed by Albert Lewin • 1945 • United States
    Starring George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed

    Oscar Wilde’s gothic classic receives an appropriately stylish and sophisticated rendition in the rare Hollywood adaptation to compare favorably with its source material. When Dorian Gray (Hurd Hat...

  • Diabolique

    Episode 7

    Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot • 1955 • France
    Starring Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse

    Before PSYCHO, PEEPING TOM, and REPULSION, there was DIABOLIQUE. This thriller from Henri-Georges Clouzot, which shocked audiences in Europe and the U.S., is the story of two women, the fragil...

  • The Haunting

    Episode 8

    Directed by Robert Wise • 1963 • United Kingdom
    Starring Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson

    Using shadow, suggestion, and atmospheric camera work, director Robert Wise turned Shirley Jackson’s novel “The Haunting of Hill House” into one of the screen’s all-time creepiest supernatural ch...

  • Daughters of Darkness

    Episode 9

    Directed by Harry Kümel • 1971 • Belgium
    Starring Delphine Seyrig, Danielle Ouimet, John Karlen

    The vampire myth gets a disturbingly seductive psychosexual spin in one of the most exquisitely mesmerizing adult horror films ever made. International screen icon Delphine Seyrig stars as Elizabeth B...

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Episode 10

    Directed by Peter Weir • 1975 • Australia
    Starring Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse

    This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Based on an acclaimed 1967 novel by Joan Lin...

  • Hellraiser

    Episode 11

    Directed by Clive Barker • 1987 • United Kingdom
    Starring Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence

    From horror master Clive Barker comes this chilling nightmare featuring the first appearance of the fiendish icon Pinhead. When Kirsty Cotton’s (Ashley Laurence) family moves into their ance...

  • Stranger by the Lake

    Episode 12

    Directed by Alain Guiraudie • 2013 • France
    Starring Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, Patrick d’Assumçao.

    The critically acclaimed STRANGER BY THE LAKE has been described as a modern-day Hitchcockican masterpiece. A picturesque cruising spot in the countryside of France sets the scene f...

  • Always Shine

    Episode 13

    Directed by Sophia Takal • 2016 • United States
    Starring Mackenzie Davis, Caitlin FitzGerald, Lawrence Michael Levine

    Director Sophia Takal offers a tense and disquieting exploration of female friendship, rivalry, and Hollywood sexism in this provocative psychological thriller. Two friends (Mack...