written by Samantha Bergeson, Indie Wire
Forget Camp Crystal Lake — it’s Whistler Camp that truly is the stuff of nightmares.
The Blumhouse-produced horror film “They/Them” debuts Friday, August 5 on Peacock and centers on conversion camp Whistler, run by charismatic camp director Owen Whistler played by Kevin Bacon, who also executive produces the film. Licensed therapist and Owen’s wife Cora Whistler co-runs the program and is portrayed by Bacon’s “Space Oddity” co-star Carrie Preston. “Veep” and “Inventing Anna” star Anna Chlumsky plays Molly, the camp’s medic and newest employee.
“They/Them” marks Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan’s directorial debut after penning Academy Award winners “The Aviator,” “Gladiator,” and “Skyfall.” Logan wrote the script and serves as an executive producer for “They/Them.”
“‘They/Them’ has been germinating within me my whole life,” Logan said in a press statement. “I’ve loved horror movies as long as I can remember, I think because monsters represent ‘the other’ and as a gay kid, I felt a powerful sense of kinship with those characters who were different, outlawed, or forbidden. I wanted to make a movie that celebrates queerness, with characters that I never saw when I was growing up.”
Logan added, “When people walk away from the movie, I hope they’re going to remember the incredible love that these kids have for each other and how that love needs to be protected and celebrated.”
This year’s crop of campers includes Jordan (Theo Germaine), a transgender and non-binary camper from a religious background who has made a deal with their parents to legally emancipate after attending Whistler; Alexandra (Quei Tann), a transgender woman whose parents have threatened to kick her out of the house if she didn’t attend the camp; Toby (Austin Crute), a gay camper who negotiated with his parents for a trip to New York in exchange for a week at Whistler Camp; and Veronica (Monique Kim), a bisexual camper who wants to stop fighting who she really is.
Other stars are Anna Lore as Kim, a closeted lesbian camper; Cooper Koch plays Stu, a closeted gay jock with aspirations of a swimming scholarship and joining his father’s fraternity; and Darwin del Fabro as Gabriel, a sensitive gay camper tired of the persistent bullying he’s endured his entire life.
The teaser shows the teens hesitant to step foot on Whistler Camp property, despite Owen assuring them “this is a safe space for everyone.” That is, until a terrifying bloodied skull mask pops up to interrupt queer hook-ups and lakeside cunnilingus.
“They/Them” is executive produced by writer-director Logan, lead star Bacon, Scott Turner Schofield (“Euphoria,” “The Craft: Legacy”), Howie Young (“Mission: Impossible III”), and Jon Romano (“Vengeance”). Jason Blum (“Get Out”) and Michael Aguilar (“Penny Dreadful”) serve as producers.