they themPronounced “de-slash-them” is a slasher horror film produced, written and directed by LGBTQIA+ Conversion Camp executives. John Logan (“penny Dreadful”).
Slasher will start on Peacock Friday, August 5,
Prior to release, Bloody Disgusting chatted with Logan about the film’s emphasis on characters, the research going into the setting, and the filmmaker’s love of the slashers.
Logan’s “Penny Dreadful” puts its characters first, creating gothic horror and drama from them. When asked if this is his main entry point into creating the narrative, Logan replied, “Exactly, right. Also, with the characters, because if you start with the story, you’re going to be able to satisfy your plot. But if you start with the characters, the characters can give you the plot. They can suggest what the conflict should be.
“I always start with the characters. For this film, I started with seven campers. I just started with characters I fell in love with and thought, How can I challenge them and Can I put them in different situations?,
they them It also challenges the notion of the slasher as it puts psychological terror at the fore. Logan explains how he took his love of the sub-genre and used it to create a subversion that doubled as a love letter to undermining cinema.
Logan says, “It was definitely a combination of the celebration of slasher film because I’m not apologetic in my love for slasher movies. Nothing makes me happy, so I love that genre. But also a chance to turn it with love, So yeah, as you know, we have a camp in the woods, we have a mass murderer, we have various murder weapons being used, so all those wonderful things from slasher movies, We are able to use them for the angelic purpose, if you will, which is to celebrate these queer children.,
Logan also explained how the character-driven focus and uniqueness of his characters led to a lengthy casting process. “It was long and hard because I knew they were a seven camper film. They were the throbbing heart of the film. I wanted queer actors who are comfortable and confident about their identity because this is a film about the horrors of trying to take away people’s identities., We only looked at LGBTQ+ actors for roles which took a while because they are very specific. I wanted actors who could educate me too.
“Because I’m not trans, I’m not non-binary, I need to know. I’m 60 too. I’m not even 20. I needed actors I could work with who would help me, And this is what we found. The biggest moment of the lightning strike was Theo Germain as the film opens with Jordan’s face and ends with Jordan’s face. He is the throbbing heart of the film, the Hamlet of the play. I met Theo; They were just so engaging, involved in the process, and willing to be open with me about their experience. Together we can help build Jordan. I am very happy and proud of all those actors.”
While Logan may have put a lot of effort into casting his campers, finding the right actor to play the camp’s owner, Owen Whistler, was easier than expected. was not only Kevin Bacon The only choice for the role, but his experience set the tone during production.
,This is one of those rare cases where I wrote with an actor in mind, which I usually don’t. I started writing and Kevin came to my mind. I have known Kevin for years. We have always wanted to work together. But I kept on writing; I kept saying, ‘Oh my god, this is Kevin Bacon.’ Because, as you know, he can be so charming one moment and then turning so icy and villainous the next. Very few actors can do that with complete authenticity on either side of that equation. I wrote it, and I called Jason Blum and said, ‘It must be Kevin Bacon. I need to talk to Kevin about this.’ He loved that idea. Thankfully, Kevin was flattered. Kevin is also the ultimate professional.
“The first thing we shot throughout the film was his opening speech. The first time any of those actors saw Owen Whistler walking up the stairs giving a five-page speech. It was a lesson in professionalism and from everyone. Said, ‘You need to step up your game to match this guy.'”
Logan may have made a fictional horror film, but he did a lot of research and was attracted to authentic, harrowing experiences.
The filmmaker explained, “I met some people who have gone through conversion therapy, and they were very generous with their stories. What they told me was sad because it is this witch’s decoction combination of physical pain. Things like sleep deprivation, forced marches, food shortages, and even more deadly psychological assaults, where their identities are being questioned and attacked day in and day out. Those stories really stayed with me. So in the film you get to see a good combination of both those things. Carrie PrestonThere’s this very long scene of this character in the movie, it’s psychologist Theo Germain’s trying to differentiate the character, just with words. Like the psychological sportsmanship that exists in these so-called conversion therapy camps.
“Then there is physical cruelty, which, we have a horror film, so we extrapolate some elements of it, but it is also based on reality. I had some researchers put together a huge research document on conversion camp therapy, and it’s terrifying., And it’s terrifying, as we sit and speak, that it’s legal in half the United States. At a time where people’s basic liberties and human dignity are being threatened and challenged, I think it is very important that we get a chance to tell stories like this. That’s why I am eternally grateful to Peacock and Blumhouse for giving us the opportunity to tell a story that presents queer people as heroes.”