Review: “They/Them” is more than a movie

When I first heard that Kevin Bacon was going to be in a movie about the problems with gay conversion camp, I was intrigued. Especially once I found out it was meant to be a horror movie. The whole idea seemed so crazy that it might work. And it did.

The movie “They/Them” (don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers. Seriously, who does that?) is about a group of teens who are sent to a gay conversion camp for the week. Kevin Bacon plays the camp leader, who at first seems actually kind of nice and understanding.

Slowly, though, things start to take a turn for the worse, and when counselors start getting killed, the true horrors of the place are uncovered.

Now, that’s all I’ll say about the plot. But I will say a topic like that can be a lot to handle properly. It’s a topic that strikes close to home for a lot of people. Some people have even lived through events like this.

It’s important to make sure these things are handled properly and don’t cross over into the line of being insensitive.

That was something I thought was handled really well. The story works in a way that makes sense for a slasher movie but also handles the things it wanted to.

It almost has a Jordan Peele feel to it. In that, the movie is scary, and funny in parts, but also is tackling a big topic in a way that is easy for the audience to understand. Some things in the movie may seem like a crazy extreme but they’re not. They’re things that happen to real people in the United States every day.

The acting specifically was amazing. Now Kevin Bacon is no stranger to horror films. One of his first big films was “Friday the 13th.” But I wasn’t sure how he would handle something so political. I didn’t know where he fell and if his delivery of the character would feel genuine. He didn’t disappoint.

The movie also had a very diverse cast that made sure everyone was represented. Something I rarely see in movies is a good racially diverse cast. This movie had that. On top of that, they also represented the LGBTQIA+ spectrum very well.

It wasn’t a movie that was still made for the male gaze and only featured a lesbian couple. This made sure all ends of the spectrum were covered. There was indeed a lesbian couple but also a bisexual girl, a gay man of color, and a non-binary main character. Hence the title, “They/Them.”

The movie handles the big overarching theme of conversion camp but also deals with some of the struggles the LGBTQIA+ community faces on a daily basis and the struggles they face coming from an unsupportive family.

It shows a girl struggling because her family doesn’t accept her. Because of this, she doesn’t want to be gay and is at the camp willingly. She thinks she can change who she is to get the acceptance of her family.

Overall, the movie was 10/10 and I recommend that everyone watch it. It can help those who maybe don’t understand the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community understand a little bit better but it can also help members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are also struggling.

Alyssa McMillan

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