Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"You Belong to Me" is a nice little LGBT horror film


Sam Zalutsky has a nice little mystery and horror film “You Belong to Me” (2007, 82 min) that seems like a gay adaptation of a few mystery and horror genres, especially Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psyhco” (here, it’s in reverse) with maybe a tad of Carter Smith, and perhaps Stephen King’s “Misery”, and even the old Tobe Hooper “Texas Chainsaw”. The film comes from Wolf Video, was produced by “Mama’s Boy” and is currently viewable on Logoonline here, with summary here and with the video links (search for the “You Belong to Me” and look for segment 1). Free feature films on Logo lay in segments that range from 6 to 13 minutes, and sometimes the links start with 15 second commercials. The film seems to bear no relation to a 1941 film of the same name with Barbara Stanwyck.

What makes this movie work is the upstanding, almost impenetrable lead character, Jeffrey (Daniel Sauli), a thirty-something architect who has just made partner in New York. He sort of strikes you as someone who could have made it as Donald Trump’s “Apprentice,” and he has the stability of the character Sam in "Supernatural." The opening shots show an architect’s balsa model of a building, with becomes a metaphor for the (New York) brownstone that he moves in to, partly to get more privacy (from his female live-in “friend”) and partly to be near an ex-boyfriend Rene (Julien Lucas), who seems skittish about their relationship, to say the least. Pretty soon he finds that the landlady Gladys (Patti D’Arbanville) is more possessive than he is, with a monstrous mute (Sherman Howard) who stalks Jeffrey like a golem in the night. The place has a panic room, of sorts (the cellar), for the wrong purposes. Will Jeffrey’s body survive?

This is a pretty good example of horror that is effective enough on it’s own terms that you forget that it is a “gay movie.” The title of the film is a metaphor at more than one level.

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