Warning: This article comprises spoilers for The Retreat on VOD.
Most LGBTQ viewers of movie and TV are aware of the phrase “Bury Your Gays,” a time period used to discuss with the unlucky trope of queer characters being statistically extra more likely to die than straight characters in fiction. From Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Lexa in The 100, queer audiences—and most particularly queer girls—have grown used to Hollywood’s not-so-subtle implication that their lives are expendable.
But due to the neighborhood’s vocal complaints about “Dead Lesbian Syndrome” over the previous couple of a long time, creators are lastly beginning to change into conscious of this overused trope, and are taking steps to actively keep away from it. Some are even writing complete motion pictures to counteract it. That’s precisely what author Alyson Richards intends to do with The Retreat, a new lesbian slasher horror movie directed by Pat Mills that opened in theaters and on-demand at present.
The Retreat is your fundamental cabin-in-the-woods horror joint, with one little twist: Carol, they’re lesbians. Girlfriends Renee (Tommie-Amber Piri) and Valerie (Sarah Allen) are headed to a distant weekend getaway to assist their queer man pals plan a wedding ceremony. But after they arrive at the cabin, their pals are nowhere to be discovered. It’s not lengthy earlier than our heroes discover themselves kidnapped and tortured by a mysterious, sadistic determine clad from head-to-toe in camouflage. As it seems, the locals in the space are vicious homophobic monsters hellbent on murdering queer folks in the most annoying methods doable. Fun!
Perhaps it’s a spoiler to say that each of the queer girls in The Retreat finally reside. But for Richards, the blissful ending isn’t simply a plot level—it’s the thematic drive of the movie. In her writers assertion despatched to the press, Richards wrote, “Queer bodies have a long history of being disposable in media. The ‘bury your gays’ trope is real. In so many movies and shows, the queer female characters are often killed or worse, revealed to be the ‘psychotic killer’ and then killed.”
She concluded, “I really wanted to write a script where the queer women didn’t turn on each other but instead turned to each other to survive. It was important to me that the gay women in The Retreat work together to turn the tables on the villains and live.”
And that’s precisely what occurs. There are loads of moments the place it appears, even only for a second, that Renee would possibly abandon Valerie—when Valerie will get caught in a bear lure; when Renee breaks out of her jail; when Valerie can’t discover something sharp to free Renee from her make-shift handcuffs. But she by no means does, and every time Valerie turns again to assist her lover, your coronary heart soars. By the time the finish of the film rolls round, the two girls—bloodied and haggard—actually lean on one another to slowly limp to freedom. If that’s not an inspiring message of girls supporting girls, I don’t know what’s.
It must be famous that the homosexual males in the movie, sadly, don’t obtain the similar generosity. Though not proven in graphic element, the circumstances and audio of the dying of Valerie’s good friend Connor (Chad Connell)—a completely horrific hate crime that’s broadcast reside on the web—is excruciating to witness. Exploiting ache is the modus operandi of the horror style, to make certain, however it does veer into “trauma porn” territory of the very actual historical past of violence in opposition to homosexual males. So when you’re trying to keep away from the “Bury Your Gays” trope fully, The Retreat is probably not the movie for you.
But when you’re trying to watch some lesbians win the day over some villainous homophobes, go forward and provides The Retreat a stream. For as soon as, the lesbians reside.