Friday, August 26, 2022

They/Them (2022)

Streaming Service: Peacock
Movie Name/Year: They/Them (2022)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 1h 44min
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Blumhouse Productions, Peacock
Director: John Logan
Writer: John Logan
Actors: Kevin Bacon, Theo Germaine, Anna Chlumsky, Carrie Preston, Quei Tann, Austin Crute, Anna Lore, Monique Kim, Cooper Koch, Darwin del Fabro, Hayley Griffith, Boone Platt, Mark Ashworth
Blurb from IMDb: A group of teenagers at an LGBTQ+ conversion camp endures unsettling psychological techniques while being stalked by a mysterious masked killer.

Selina’s Point of View:
I was skeptical of They/Them. After all, it touches on an incredibly sensitive subject.
Conversion camps are a real, and awful, threat to a huge demographic of people already forced to deal with the unwarranted hatred of others. The traumas that people suffer at these camps are no joke and should never be treated as one. If a film seeks to touch on this kind of subject, it needs to be handled with respect.
Kevin Bacon’s (Frost/Nixon, X-Men: First Class, City on a Hill) involvement is what made me believe I would be walking into the kind of project that would handle things correctly. He’s got a great reputation, even off-screen, and I figured that his casting was a good sign. So, I went into They/Them with some hope.
I’ll start with the good.
The characters were well written. There was a wide variety of personalities, sexualities, and genders. Nothing felt overly stereotypical. Even the characters that might have felt typical if they had been the ‘tokens’ of different movies, felt appropriate because they were surrounded by non-typical characters. They weren’t singled out.
Essentially, all the characters felt like real people.

I did think the creators really painted the camp as awful. There were moments of deep dread from scenes that only involved the camp – with the slasher aspect not a factor.
Unfortunately, that’s where the good ends.
Nothing else about They/Them worked. The scenes that were dreadful about the camp almost seemed out of place. The slasher aspect never fully meshed with the rest of the flick. Even the interactions between characters felt a little forced in most scenes.
The worst part is that all the good will gained from proper representation in the characters was lost through several moments that simply felt exploitative.
They/Them was hard to watch. Not because the horror was good, but because it was all just a hot mess. It was easy to see what the creators were going for, but none of it was very successful.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 34%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 18%
Metascore – 47%
Metacritic User Score – 2.4
IMDB Score –3.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 2/5
Movie Trailer:

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