The Fantasy Review‘s Spoiler-Free Review of They/Them (2022).
They/Them is a movie that feels like they had a fun idea for a name but forgot it needed a cool plot too. It’s a generic slasher without many scares, interesting kills, or a particularly interesting or surprising mystery. It does, however, have some redeeming moments and would be enjoyed more as a generic thriller, instead of what it was marketed as.
The cast of characters was great, as were the performances all round. Theo Germaine, Anna Chlumsky, and Kevin Bacon were stand-outs for me.
The characters had depth, and enough time was spent on most of them for us to get a good idea about who they were and what they wanted in life – an aspect of storytelling that can often be forgotten about in slasher movies (Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, I’m looking at you).
This movie also poked fun at a few slasher tropes, which was enjoyable, but it wasn’t as smart as it wanted you to think.
They/Them attempted to be a mystery, but the reveal was obvious to any paying even a little bit of attention. The red herring didn’t work – the masked killer was clearly not who they wanted you to think it was.
The mask… it felt like the killer was wearing a mask (which did look cool, to be fair) just because that’s what they should be doing in a slasher movie. With Michael Myers, Jason, Ghostface, et al, the mask feels like it belongs – in They/Them, the mask felt out of place.
This movie isn’t scary. It’s a bit creepy, sure, and atmospheric with an interesting setting, but these positives weren’t used to the movie’s advantage. So, the “scary” moments fell flat.
Overall, I think They/Them is a great movie for anyone interested in trying out some slasher movies, who doesn’t actually want to be scared. It is also a bit of fun with some great characters, with good queer rep that doesn’t feel forced.
If you are looking for an awesome slasher movie, though, like Scream, Child’s Play, or Halloween, this probably isn’t the movie for you.