cover image It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror

It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror

Edited by Joe Vallese. Feminist Press, $25.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-952177-79-8

Queer writers recall the horror films that touched their lives in this stellar anthology. Noting in the introduction a common “deep queer affinity” for horror, NYU writing professor Vallese lays out the conundrum at the center of the collection: “How can we find such camaraderie in the very thing that so often slights us?” There’s not a weak piece in the pack; among the standouts is “Both Ways,” in which Carmen Maria Machado pushes back against accusations of queerbaiting in the 2009 flick Jennifer’s Body, detecting in them a judgment against fluid bisexuality. “There is such little grace given to the perfect messiness of desire,” she writes. In “Three Men on a Boat,” Jen Corrigan makes a convincing case for Jaws as a queer film (“Is there really anything gayer than three men on a boat?”), and in “The Girl, the Well, the Ring,” Zefyr Lisowski writes searingly about The Ring and Pet Sematary, both of which present the idea that “the disabled were to be feared”: “These movies hurt me and I kept watching them.... They were all I had.” Taken together, the pieces are a brilliant display of expert criticism, wry humor, and original thinking. This is full of surprises. (Oct.)