It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror

The Feminist Pr. at CUNY. Oct. 2022. 287p. ed. by Joe Vallese. ISBN 9781952177798. $25.95. FILM
Horror is a genre that has been reviled by the larger art scene since its inception, although it has received more intellectual interest in recent years. Decades of being told they were the real monsters by people who are homophobic and/or transphobic, has uniquely situated queer people to discuss its indelible effect on the culture. Edited by Vallese (expository writing, NYU; What’s Your Exit??), this book features essays by 26 authors who each reflect on a classic or contemporary horror film and discuss its relation to their lives as LGBTQIA+ individuals. This translates into deep dives, often purposefully grotesque, into gender and sexuality that many readers will be able to relate to. It is less an anthology about queerness in horror movies than it is an exploration of the queer people who watch these movies and reinterpret them. Each section is also paired with a collage of images from the films at hand, paying homage to vintage horror movie posters.
VERDICT An excellent purchase for any film or queer studies collection.
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