Film theory, homosexuality, phallic symbolism, horror, thriller


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Film and Media Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Film and Media Studies | Visual Studies


Horror and thriller’s subtextual stories within cinema have been prominent across many subgenres, creating a wide-spread correlation between the homosexual and the monstruous that grew even noticeable after the start of the AIDS epidemic. Much of horror critique and analysis has been focused on the objectification of the feminine, but the unique role that the male plays in horror and thriller (both as a villain and victim) deserves equal inspection. The research done in this paper demonstrates how horror cinema skews the suggested gender roles and how fear makes us more easily let go of the societal norms held so closely. When these differing roles are more often put onto the villain, it encourages a belief that effeminate males are more likely to turn to violence and general terrorism. Despite this, horror as a genre has long been accepted and even eagerly welcomed by (often male) homosexuals. The resignification of the monster creates a contemporary shift towards horror being overtly connected to all members of the LGBT community, and more often created by homosexual auteurs. This research proves the thesis that horror and thriller are gay genres, both from hatred and reclamation.

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