Friday, November 24, 2017

"Tonight It's You": Gay horror short film, with the look of "Bugrush", slams fundamentalist conversion therapy

The short “Tonight It’s You”, by Dominic Haxton, ASPD Films, experiments with horror over its 17 minutes and gives a look that reminds me of “Bugcrush”.  The plot, however, starts out with the intimacy (rather than building up to it), and then the storyline explodes into something much more dangerous and much more political.

A young man CJ (Jake Robbins) answers a personal ad on his phone and drives out to a remote ranch in what looks like the area around San Bernadino east of LA.  His hookup (Hunter, played by Ian Lerch) tells him to go to the back shed.

They make out, but half way through the film “dad” hears them from the house. CJ tries to escape but winds up having to jump into the house, and finds a coven of fundamentalist exorcists determined to convert gays, that would put Mike Pence to shame.  (I know, Trump joked “He wants to hang ‘em all” but this film, shot before the 2016 election, seems ready to blow everyone away, and may have been envisioned as a “just in case” short to slam anti-gay extremism just in case Pence got into office.)

The payoff is, the Hunter’s dad had kidnapped turned into vampires ready to turn on dear old dad, something Dad wasn’t prepared for.  CJ gets to be the hero, and I guess Ian does to. 

The action in the last 5 minutes of the film moves very abruptly and the camera work is quick. 

This is a film where both young men deserve to turn out better than their life circumstances so far would predict. 

I suspect that this has played in some LGBT film festivals in shorts presentations, although I'm not aware that Reel Affirmations has run it.

Haxton's work could probably be compared to Jorge Ameer, who also comes up with novel storylines for with gay material, often with mystery and a touch of horror or supernatural. 

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