Screening as part of the Queer Fear double bill with The Haunting on 15 November at Everyman.

Openly gay director James Whale brought to life some of the most iconic Universal monsters during their peak in the 1930s, as well as this lesser seen haunted house tale adapted from a JB Priestley novel. In The Old Dark House five strangers take shelter in an isolated house following a violent storm. Whale imbued his movies, often about the ultimate outsiders, with a gay sensibility, and though a film that hints at themes of class, gender, sexuality and mental health might seem like a slog, this camp classic zips along.

From James Whale and John Waters to Patricia Highsmith and Clive Barker, horror has profoundly impacted queer culture and sensibilities throughout cinema. Queer Fear aims to bring to light the narratives, filmmakers and characters that chart queer communities’ lasting fascination with the horror genre, from the monsters of the 1930s and 40s, the camp vampire romps of the 1960s, the cult of Rocky Horror, to the LGBTQIA+ filmmakers of today. Through Queer Fear we will examine how those once relegated to the monstrous margins of storytelling have staked a claim in one of the most radical and successful genres on our screens.

Also part of Queer Fear: The Haunting

Also online on Leeds Film Player

The Old Dark House film poster