ComingSoon spoke to They them stars Theo Germaine and Austine Crute, plus producer Scott Turner Schofield about Peacock’s upcoming slasher set at a conversion camp. The film premieres tomorrow, August 5, on the streamer.
“Kevin Bacon stars as Owen Whistler in this slasher horror film set at an LGBTQIA+ conversion camp,” says the synopsis. “Several queer and trans campers join Whistler for a week of programming aimed at ‘helping them find a new sense of freedom.'” As the camp’s methods become increasingly psychologically disturbing, the campers must work together to protect themselves. When a mysterious killer starts claiming victims, things get even more dangerous.”
Tyler Treese: Theo, you’re just wonderful in this movie, and I’m sure it was a cringeworthy moment that you were in a horror movie with Kevin Bacon. I’m sure the coolness factor hasn’t worn anyone off, but what was your biggest takeaway from working with such a legend?
Theo Germaine: Oh God. My biggest takeaway, hmm… I really like the way Kevin carries himself. He really takes his time with everything when he’s on set. He really has a presence and a weight that’s like, I don’t know, when I’m in the room with a more senior actor, I’m always like, this is a master class. And I really wanted to see him… I mean, he’s been working for so long because he’s really talented. I really found myself learning so much from this guy, the way he carries himself, the way he handles his character trajectory throughout the film. And then there was also a fan person moment, I can’t believe I’m in the same room with this person. I can’t believe I just beat the game. It was really cool. It was a pleasure working with him, honestly.
Austin, you have so many funny scenes throughout and there is a great montage of all the campers doing tug of war and different games. What was the highlight of doing the little camp activities for you?
Austin Crute: Wow. I would say the obstacle course was a big highlight. The gun moment was a big highlight. Yeah, there were just a lot of little moments [memorable]. Earlier, Theo talked about working with the actual experiences we’ve had as LGBTQ people, but then also melding that with the narrative and kind of being triggered, like as a cast together, and having to relive things . and bring things up. It can be challenging as an actor, but it’s so much fun because you actually get to live in this place that’s kind of hidden from a lot of people. So many people just have these thoughts in their head and are like, “Can I say this? Can I say that? Who can I tell about this? Who can I tell about that?” And we’re all on the same page throughout the cast, throughout the production. It’s just so cohesive and amazing.
Scott, I thought the beginning of the movie was so interesting because the idea of a gay conversion camp being progressive is just totally oxymoron and ridiculous, but Kevin’s character is very, almost accepting in the beginning and comes off as almost likeable. Can you talk about how much that kind of worked and set the tone so you could subvert it later?
Scott Turner Schofield: Well, so there are two things. For starters, it’s grounded in reality, conversion therapy has moved away from being kind of intense, you know, knock it out of you, to more like, “Oh no, we’re cool too.” It’s called the Freedom March movement and you can look it up, it’s like a virus, it just mutates so it can hurt more people. And then I was very ready, and [director] John [Logan] was incredibly aware, we didn’t want to turn off a whole group of people. We wouldn’t make it, although conversion therapy is often found in faith-based communities, we wouldn’t go for it because it’s everywhere. People do it all the time in all sorts of ways. Even people who seem progressive. So we really wanted to base it on the fact that it’s the way it is in the world and not go after any particular group because unfortunately, you know, a lot of people do this.
Germaine: Like the character Jordan, as an example, is someone who I decided is kind of religious, you know?
Schofield: Yes, comes from a religious family.
Germaine: Yes. I was really interested in it being a thing in terms of, their very like, “I have a faith and I’m also a non-binary person and those two things exist at the same time,” you know?