When most people heard this was a horror film set at a queer conversion camp, a setting attached with its own real-life horrors, a moment of hesitation set in. While films like But I’m a Cheerleader have shown that beauty can be found in the horror, They/Them had an uphill battle to justify using the setting and it becoming nothing but queer people suffering.
While some campers wish they were straight, the film attempts to show that the LGBTQ+ campers deserve so much better and find so much love in themselves and their queerness by the film’s end. For every spooky ominous scene, there are at least two more between the LGBTQ+ campers about them finding strength in themselves and their shitty situation.
This movie is a horror film, but it’s through the horror that the surprising ways in which queer people will find love, beauty, and strength that will stick with me. I was terrified They/Them would be nothing but queer torture porn, making fun of pronouns and killing off LGBTQ+ people, but it’s not that.
With every chance to cast aside any care for its LGBTQ+ themes or characters, the film did better, fleshing out the real-life horrors queer people face and showing that queer people can overcome them.