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13 Queer-Friendly Classics for Halloween

13 Queer-Friendly Classics for Halloween


Get your creep on with these films that have special resonance for LGBT viewers. 

Whether they feature persecuted outcasts at odds with society, characters who are subtly or not-so-subtly LGBT, or simply revel in high-camp high jinks, these are the perfect films for your Halloween party or Netflix-and-chill weekend.

Addams Family Values (1993)

Gay screenwriter Paul Rudnick (In & Out) penned this follow-up to 1991's The Addams Family. As the family welcomes a new baby, the film memorably pits the oddball Addams kids Wednesday and Pugsley (Christina Ricci and Jimmy Workman) against the squeaky-clean WASPs at summer camp.

ParaNorman (2012)

This animated tale of an outcast boy who sees and speaks to ghosts, and must save his town from an ancient witch's curse, is filled with smart and funny social satire, and includes a delightfully offhand reference to a major character who is gay (no spoilers here).

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Tim Burton's funny, poignant, and visually stunning update on the Frankenstein myth stars Johnny Depp as the ultimate outsider with special gifts (including hairdressing and topiary) and an ebullient Winona Ryder as his love interest. It launched a thousand Halloween costumes -- and Depp as a mainstream movie star.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Gay icons Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy cut the comic ham an inch thick is this high-camp tale of three resurrected witch sisters who wreak Halloween havoc on Salem, Mass.

Carrie (1976)

Sissy Spacek stars as the ultimate bullied teen -- who happens to be cursed with telekinetic powers and a Bible-crazy mother (Piper Laurie). It's a creepy camp classic for the ages -- which culminates in the worst prom ever.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge(1985)

As actor Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) has said, "Nightmare 2 is a very creepy, very kinky film. Instead of having a teenage girl in jeopardy, we have a bisexual male [Mark Patton]. There's a lot of stuff implied with the S&M bar, stringing up the coach in the shower room bondage situation, going to his boyfriend's house for protection, and the two of them take their clothes off as often as possible." Read Mark Patton's take on the role here.

Cat People (1942)

When a Serbian-born woman falls in love with and marries an American man, their marriage suffers due to an ancient curse; Whenever she's aroused, she turns into a panther and kills. The first horror film to explore psychosexual themes including repressed lesbianism, it uses atmosphere and suspense rather than explicit shocks or gore.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Don't go trick-or-treating at Baby Jane Hudson's house. Gay icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford star in this psychological thriller as a grotesque former child star and her disabled ex-movie star sister. This creepy classic launched an entire genre of faded movie queen horror films.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Gay director James Whale's sequel to his 1931 classic Frankenstein has kept queer critics busy exploring the film's gay subtext. The film revels in high-camp humor, it stars gay or bisexual actors Colin Clive (as the good doctor) and Ernest Thesiger (as the "sissified" Dr. Pretorius), and while the match between the monster and his bride is a disaster, the only real love in the film is the poignant tenderness between the monster and the blind hermit.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Tim Burton's film version of gay composer Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical stars Johnny Depp as the vengeful barber turned serial killer and Helena Bonham Carter as the pie-making gal who loves him. Operatic emotions and cannibalism ensue.

Interview With the Vampire (1994)

Tom Cruise plays the bisexual vampire Lestat, who seduces the tender-hearted Louis (Brad Pitt) into joining him in eternal life. The film is gorgeously grotesque, but why Pitt's character turns down an offer to spend an eternity with Antonio Banderas in Paris is beyond me.

The Haunting (1963)

In this masterpiece of psychological horror, a paranormal investigator invites a lesbian clairvoyant (Claire Bloom), an emotionally vulnerable psychic (the great Julie Harris), and a skeptical heir (Russ Tamblyn) to stay in an eerie mansion that has a sordid past. Skip the 1999 remake; this is one of the best haunted house flicks of all time.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Every LGBT movie fan owes a great deal to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has been responsible for more queer kids coming out than ... well, any other film. The campy ode to bisexual kink and sexual freedom is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. Don't dream it -- be it!

In honor of Rocky Horror's 40th anniversary, cast members Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Meat Loaf and Patricia Quinn gathered for a Today showreunion.

Find the films on this list at Can I Stream It?

Which LGBT-friendly films would you recommend to get into the Halloween spirit? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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