EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: 'Midnight Kiss' Director Carter Smith Talks LGBTQ+ Slasher

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ‘Midnight Kiss’ Director Carter Smith Talks LGBTQ+ Slasher

In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.

Horror movies have something missing. Something that many don’t think about but something the queer community has been craving; horror movies where LGBTQ people are front and center, important to the storyline, and unapologetically themselves. 

We got a chance to speak with Carter Smith, the director of Into the Dark’s new queer movie in their anthology series of horror content on Hulu titled Midnight Kiss. And considering that New Years and 2020 is upon us, it’s the perfect time to sit back, relax, and watch a horror movie where LGBTQ characters aren’t the side kick or comedic relief.

Smith started off by explaining how he wished this was the kind of horror movie he had while growing up as a gay man himself. 

“Both Erlingur Thoroddsen, who wrote the script, and I talked a lot about this. Like, this is the movie that we wish we had had when we were kids growing up loving horror movies and not seeing ourselves in those movies. So I think that to me it’s great to actually move representation into the horror space.”

Because let’s be honest. There’s a lot of subtext in horror movies when it comes to queer content, but movies usually shy away from actually biting the bullet and making characters queer, and end up moving nothing forward when it comes to LGBTQ representation.

“There’s a lot of there’s a lot of subtext, a lot of coded references. There’s a lot of sort of gay subtext in the genre, but very rarely does it actually end up on the surface of the story or end up with characters that are gay and, you know, kind of not made such a big deal,” Smith explained before continuing, “These are the main characters and it’s not about them being gay. They’re not the gay side character, not the comedic relief. And it normalizes it in a way, which I think is really important.”

And that right there is why Midnight Kiss is the movie you need to watch now and not just because you identify as gay. You don’t have to be LGBTQ+ to join in on this movie and appreciate the goodness that we are being gifted with. It’s a story for everyone about gay best friends while a slasher is on the loose, period.

“From the very beginning Midnight Kiss was a story about gay best friends. And since we’re just used to LGBTQ people being the comedic relief of the story, the fact that LGBTQ people are front and center makes for a shocking and eye opening experience at what we’re used to.”

Same thing goes for the sexy scenes in Midnight Kiss. Too long we have watched slasher films where if you’re straight and cis, you get the sexy times before being ultimately murdered. True equality is making movies where the LGBTQ+ characters have just as much of a chance of getting sexy times with a side of murder. #ISaidWhatISaid

“I think it made sense for the characters,” Smith noted when it came to sexual scenes on screen and between two men. Because they weren’t gratuitous or out of the blue. They fit the characters, the story, and was part of the journey of those involved. 

When it came down to it, “Those scenes moved the story forward and they weren’t necessarily gratuitous, but they were growing out of those character relationships. But of course, also as a horror fan, to spend my entire teenage years watching movies where like, topless naked women run around. It sort of in and out of the shower being chased by killers. Like it just felt like okay, here’s the flip side of that.”

At the end of the day, Into the Dark’s Midnight Kiss is a slasher movie that is fun, sexy, and most importantly, like every other slasher out there. That’s what equality is about, where we as queer people don’t fall down trope filled holes. And if it makes at least one gay person feel comfortable or seen, then it was all worth while.

Midnight Kiss is available on Hulu now.

Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)

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