It Came From the Closet
Queer Reflections on Horror
by Joe Vallese by , Kirsty Logan
“Horror opened me up to new possibilities for survival … I saw power in freakery and transgression and wondered if it could be mine.”
The relationship between horror films and the LGBTQ+ community? It’s complicated. Haunted houses, forbidden desires and the monstrous can have striking resonance for those who’ve been marginalised. But the genre’s murky history of an alarmingly heterosexual male gaze, queer-coded villains and sometimes blatant homophobia, is impossible to overlook. There is tension here, and there are as many queer readings of horror films as there are queer people.
Edited by Joe Vallese, and with contributions by writers including Kirsty Logan and Carmen Maria Machado, the essays in It Came from the Closet bring the particulars of the writers’ own experiences, whether in relation to gender, sexuality, or both, to their unique interpretations of horror films from Jaws to Jennifer’s Body.
Exploring a multitude of queer experiences from first kisses and coming out to transition and parenthood, this is a varied and accessible collection that leans into the fun of horror while taking its cultural impact and reciprocal relationship to the LGBTQ+ community seriously.
REVIEWS OF It Came From the Closet
'In this wonderful and only somewhat disturbing book (the subject is horror, after all), queer and trans writers explore the horror films that have shaped them and most reflected their own experiences. Horror, the anthology argues, while often full of misogyny and anti-trans, homophobic tropes, is also uniquely subversive and queer.' - Shondaland
'A really terrific collection of essays by a great selection and variety of different authors—both fiction authors, poets, and essayists—about the intersection between queer studies and queer identity and horror movies.' - Gothamist
'An impressively diverse array of queer voices contributes their opinions on how and why particular horror movies made a personal and indelible impression on them.' - Bay Area Reporter
'An essential look at how spooky movies so often offer solace through subversiveness.' - Electric Literature
'A critical text on the intersections of film, queer studies, and pop culture.' Booklist (starred review)
'A brilliant display of expert criticism, wry humor, and original thinking. This is full of surprises.' - Publishers Weekly (starred review)