Scroll To Top
Movies

8 queer films we’re DYING to see at Salem Horror Fest 2024

8 queer films we’re DYING to see at Salem Horror Fest 2024

The Judgement, Lady Parts, Black Lake
Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

The queerest horror festival returns on April 25. This is what we’ll be feasting our eyes on.

rachiepants

Historically, The Salem Horror Fest is the queerest horror film festival all year long — and when the 2024 selections list dropped, this year’s is again about to be so queer it's scary.

The festival was founded by Kay Lynch as a response to the 2016 election (and here I just took up cross stitch so I could stab things repeatedly) to make a political statement about reclaiming horror from those who were using hate and fear to terrorize and intimidate minority groups. The festival was created to offer a safe place of community and catharsis and to just have a spooky good time.

That the festival takes place in Salem, Mass. is no accident: The town is symbolic of a moment in American history where the vulnerable were scapegoated and often sentenced to death. Those attitudes are all too frequently echoed in today's political landscape, where ‘witches’ have been replaced by queer people, trans folks, and people of color. But today, Salem has become far more than its dark history, it's an incredibly queer and accepting place. A beacon of hope in these dark times. So while the programming may be gruesome, provocative, and downright terrifying, it's all ultimately a celebration of otherness and a rallying cry to all of us queerdos!

Speaking of queerdos! This year’s event schedule is positively PACKED with activities that you don't want to miss (oh the FOMO of it all!), including the big opening night at the Peabody Essex Museum featuring special guest and forever queer fave Kathy Najimy who’ll be hosting a screening of Hocus Pocus. Also in attendance is scream queen extraordinaire Linnea Quigley. Meanwhile, both the Horror Queers Podcast and Girl, That’s a Massacre podcast (a mashup of Girl, That’s Scary and Blerdy Massacre) will be doing live shows. And the sponsored parties? Forget about it!

PRIDE will be there too, so be sure to come by and say hi, then sign up for our newsletter to score a ticket to an extra-special limited screening of one of this year’s most anticipated and controversial films. Also, stay tuned for our live coverage of the event and exploration of Salem!

Ultimately, though, it’s all about the films and this year’s lineup is full of movies created by queer filmmakers, starring queer actors, and telling queer stories. So of course PRIDE will be seated to see it all unfold. Here’s what we’re MOST excited to watch at this year's festival!

Carnage for Christmas

Carnage for Christmas

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by Alice Maio Mackay

When true-crime podcaster and sleuth Lola visits her hometown at Christmas for the first time since running away and transitioning, the vengeful ghost of a historical murderer and urban legend seemingly arises to kill again. Lola must solve the case before her community is slaughtered. She's up against not only a psychotic killer, but also a town haunted by secrets.

Black Lake: Director’s Cut

Black Lake: Director\u2019s Cut

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by K/XI

Whilst house-sitting in a secluded home in Scotland, Aarya, an expressionist painter, is gifted a red scarf sent by her aunt from Pakistan, and becomes haunted by a Churail - a demonic and malevolent South-Asian Witch.

It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

It Doesn\u2019t Get Any Better Than This

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by Rachel Kempf, Nick Toti

This found footage horror film incorporates nearly 20 years of archival video and blends fact and fiction. When filmmakers Nick Toti and Rachel Kempf buy an abandoned duplex to shoot their next indie horror film in, they are delighted to find random strangers are drawn to the building, gathering outside to stare at it in a zombie-like trance. What begins as an effort to document the cult quickly escalates into an increasingly ecstatic quest to see just how scary their real-life horror movie can get.

Lady Parts

Lady Parts

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by Ariel McCleese

When Iris thinks of Ellie, she gets wet. Very wet. She’s heard it’s normal, but this seems different. And when you’re in high school, different is dangerous.

Livescreamers

Livescreamers

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by Michelle Iannantuono

In this screenlife found footage film, a popular group of streamers who face a lesson in teamwork when a cursed video game kills them one by one.

The Power of the Strike

The Power of the Strike

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by Dima Barch

One totally f***ed up night in a bowling alley.

Meltdown: A Nuclear Family’s Ascension Into Madness

Meltdown: A Nuclear Family\u2019s Ascension Into Madness

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by Colton Van Til

In the picture-perfect 1950s, a seemingly flawless nuclear family hosts an important dinner party, but when an unexpected LSD spiking alters the course of the evening, buried truths resurface, shattering everyone’s facades and forcing them to confront their darkest fears.

The Judgment

The Judgment

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by Marwan Mokbel

An Egyptian gay couple return from the U.S. to Egypt for a family emergency and have to force themselves back into the closet and pretend to be just friends. When they fall prey to witchcraft as punishment for their “homosexual sins,” one of them falls into religious terror and exposes his unhealed past.

Liminal

Liminal

Courtesy of Salem Horror Fest

Directed by Andrew Hawkes

A trans paranormal investigator and their team search for the connection between the queer and the strange as they explore the mysterious and magical world of the rural south.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.