“Horror opened me up to new possibilities for survival … I saw power in freakery and transgression and wondered if it could be mine.”The relationship between horror films and the LGBTQ+ community? It’s complicated. Haunted houses, forbidden desires and the monstrous can have striking resonance for those who’ve been marginalised.
But the genre’s murky history of an alarmingly heterosexual male gaze, queer-coded villains and sometimes blatant homophobia, is impossible to overlook. There is tension here, and there are as many queer readings of horror films as there are queer people. Edited by Joe Vallese, and with contributions by writers including Kirsty Logan and Carmen Maria Machado, the essays in It Came from the Closet bring the particulars of the writers’ own experiences, whether in relation to gender, sexuality, or both, to their unique interpretations of horror films from Jaws to Jennifer’s Body.
Exploring a multitude of queer experiences from first kisses and coming out to transition and parenthood, this is a varied and accessible collection that leans into the fun of horror while taking its cultural impact and reciprocal relationship to the LGBTQ+ community seriously.