This 2009 supernatural horror about girl who is nearly sacrificed to the devil, but instead is turned into a succubus who literally feeds off men doesn’t get the credit it deserves a film rife with lesbian tension and drama. Plus, as a bonus, it was written and directed by women!
Stars: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons
Written by Diablo Cody; Directed by Karyn Kusama
The Haunting (1963)
One of the many adaptations of Shirley Jackson’s novel, The Haunting of Hill House, this film is not only one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen, but also one of the gayest. Protagonists Theo and Eleanor are brought to Hill House for an experiment that may extend past science.
Starring: Julie Harris and Claire Bloom
Written by Nelson Gidding; Directed by Robert Wise
You’re Killing Me
This underrated indie horror comedy came out in 2015 and I have yet to see it on any lists of must see queer horror films. Joe is a serial killer who just wants to be honest with his new boyfriend George…but George just thinks Joe is as funny as can be. I watched this movie on Hulu where it is still available to stream.
Starring: Jeffree Self and Matthew McKelligon
Written by Jeffree Self and Jim Hansen; Directed by Jim Hansen
In 2014 the Carmilla web series took queer women by storm. A modern adaptation of the 1872 gothic novel (which predated Bram Stoker, thank you very much) followed Laura Hollis who just started her freshman year of college at Silas University in Austria. Laura’s roommate goes missing within the first few days of school, plunging the journalism major into a mystery that all comes back to her new roommate: the hot, mysterious, and very gay vampire Carmilla.
Starring: Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman
Written by Jordan Hall; Directed by Spencer Maybee
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
There’s no denying there’s some problems with the way they portray trans people in this movie, but none-the-less it has become a cult classic that true horror fans must see. However, please be aware going in that it is considered problematic by many people. It does feature the mean girls of all mean girls, Judy, and death by curling iron (and if those don’t pull you in I don’t know what will)
Starring: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, and Karen Fields
Written and directed by Robert Hiltzik
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
This movie in the definition of (supposedly) an unintentional queer film. The story follows Jesse five years after the tragedy of the first Nightmare on Elm Street film as he faces off with everyone’s favorite dream dropper – Freddy. The homo-erotic undertones are so blatant at times that even the most heterosexual audience will notice there is something more going on underneath the surface.
Starring: Mark Patton, Kim Myers, and Robert Englund
Written by David Chaskin; Directed by Jack Sholder
The Lost Boys
While not explicitly a queer movie, the homoerotic undertones are undeniable in this vampire flick. A boy moves to a small town in California and meets a group of attractive, well dressed vampires? How could that NOT lead to something sexy?
Starring: Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, and Ed Hermann
Written by Jan Fischer; Directed by Joe Schumacher
The Silence of the Lambs
Again we have a film that has a controversial portrayal of trans people. However, this film is the only horror movie to ever win an Oscar, has Jodie Foster *coughcough* a lesbian *cough* playing a bad-ass female FBI agent, and Anthony Hopkins. For me Anthony Hopkins is enough of a reason to watch this movie if you haven’t, and to revisit it even if you have. This is definitely my favorite movie, horror or otherwise, and it has had a big impact on me.
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Ted Levine
Written by Thomas Harris; Directed by Jonathan Demme
The Hellraiser franchise is one that seems to go on and on and on and on…and on. But the first two films are the reason the series will go down in horror film infamy. Split between two realms: ours and a bizarre hellscape that uses horrifying BDSM to torture (and also kind of pleasure?) their victims. And how do you get there? Through a puzzle box! It’s honestly go a lot of homoerotic threads, and in a strange way shines a spotlight on king culture (if not in the best way). Be warned there is extreme gore and some implied sexual violence! The first two films follow the same protagonist as she tries to deal with family tragedy and escape the Cenobites.
Starring: Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, and Clare Higgins
Written and directed by Clive Barker
Interview With a Vampire
I know, I know: “Sarah, what’s with all the vampires?” Well, if you’re asking that question you clearly do not understand the nuances of vampires and sexuality. This adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel stars two of the 90’s biggest male stars as long term vampire companions who are caring for Claudia: a female vampire, turned when she was still a pre-teen. So basically, it’s about a same-sex couple raising a bratty pre-teen who is too mature for her own good. If that’s not gay enough for you, I don’t know what you’re doing here.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst
Written by Anne Rice; Directed by Neil Jordan
While you can argue that this is not a horror movie, I think the bizarre darkness of all of David Lynch’s work earns him a spot as a “horror director”. This is one of my favorite movies, and requires more than one watch if you want to fully appreciate it. Two women embark on a journey to recover the memory of one of them. The storytelling is non-linear, the lesbian sex has very long acrylic nails, and it’s very 90’s: but it’s an incredible example of how psychological horror should be donw.
Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux
Written and directed by David Lynch
Let the Right One In (Swedish) / Let Me In (US)
Confession! I haven’t actually seen Let the Right One In. I’ve seen the US version, Let Me In, but have yet to watch the original Swedish film. The bittersweet story of a young, lonely boy who befriends a (you guessed it) vampire who was turned as a pre-teen girl is a commentary on bullying, loneliness, and co-dependency. It’s dark and haunting, and definitely the most emotional of all the vampire films on this list.
Let the Right One In
Starring: Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson
Written by John Ajvide Lindqvist; Directed by Tomas Alfredson
Let Me In
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Grace Moretz
Written and directed by Matt Reeves
Stranger by the Lake
So another quick confession: I haven’t seen this film either. This was suggested to me by a friend, and I’ve seen it on other lists of LGBT+ horror films. It’s a French film about a man name Franck who frequents a nude beach that also happens to be a cruising spot for gay men. He meets a man named Michel, and let’s just say this is not a romantic comedy and therefore this will not be a happy ending (pun intended).
Starring: Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, and Patrick d’Assumçao
Written and directed by Alain Guiraudie
The Neon Demon
Have you ever seen a movie that you need to watch again to decide how you feel about it, but you’re not sure you can handle watching it again? Yeah, that was how I felt about The Neon Demon. It follows a young girl from the midwest who catches a bus out to LA to become a model. She meets three girls – two models and one makeup artist – who take her under their wing, but their motives aren’t entirely pure. There’s a storyline of unrequited lesbian feelings, landing it on this list. Trigger warning: there is a scene in which the main character listens to her hotel manager rape another young girl in the room next to hers. It’s hard to stomach, and I just want you to be aware before you sit down to watch.
Starring: Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, and Keanu Reeves
Written by Mary Laws; Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Another French film that made the list! I was so hesitant to watch Raw even though everyone I know (including my mothers) was telling me to watch it. It’s about a girl who is starting vet school. She’s been a life-long vegetarian along with her parents and older sister, but during a hazing ritual she is forced to eat meat: and it awakens her craving for human flesh. To explain why this is on a list of LGBT+ plus movies would probably give too much away, so I’d say just watch it and see for yourself.
Starring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, and Rabah Nait Oufella
Written and directed by Julia Ducournau
Now if you don’t know why this is on the list, I’m not sure why you’re here at all! Just kidding, please stay. Black Swan is about a ballerina who is getting the opportunity to dance the lead in Swan Lake, only to be threatened by an understudy. There is a steamy scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis and if that isn’t enough of a reason for this to be part of the list then I don’t know is.
Starring: Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis
Written by Mark Heyman; Directed by Daren Aronofsky
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Duh. Does this even need any explanation? Well, I’ll give you one anyway. This cult classic musical is about two young and upstanding citizens that wind up at Dr. Frank N. Furter’s castle where they are pulled into his world of song and dance and science and sex. If you’ve never seen this movie you’re in for a treat – and probably a lot of confusion and questions about what you’re watching.
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, and Tim Curry
Written by Richard O’Brien; Directed by Jim Sharman
This is not necessarily a horror movie, but it is about infamous murderer Ilene Warnoss and the woman she started a relationship with. Of course, there are liberties taken and from what I can tell they definitely romanticize the relationship, but for the purposes of this list we’re only worried with what’s in the film, NOT REALITY!
Starring: Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci
Written and directed by Patty Jenkins