In Screen Rant's exclusive interview, Kevin Bacon acknowledges the similarities between They/Them and horror classic Friday the 13th. They/Them is written and directed by John Logan, a first-time director known for writing Gladiator and Skyfall. The film is produced by horror movie powerhouse Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions and is available to stream exclusively on Peacock.
Bacon is no stranger to the horror genre, starring in many throughout his career, including Tremors, Flatliners, and Friday the 13th. This time around, Bacon leads the cast of They/Them, where he plays Owen Whistler, the owner and operator of a gay conversion camp. The story follows a group of LGBTQ+ teenagers sent to Whistler Camp where they undergo heinous acts of conversation therapy at the hands of camp counselors. In addition to the torment from counselors, it becomes apparent that someone is picking off the teens one by one. The influence of Friday the 13th hangs heavy over They/Them, and Bacon's inclusion in the cast further cements this.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: Friday The 13th: Every Filming Location In The Horror Movie Franchise
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Bacon opens up about his role in They/Them and the parallels to Friday the 13th. When asked if he had any flashbacks to Camp Crystal Lake, Bacon describes his experience on set and how comfortable it was for him to slip back into old territory. The actor outlines the parallels to the iconic setting of Friday the 13th, including the campground, woods, the lake, and of course, teenage victims. Bacon says it was something discussed on set with Logan as the film leaned into those influences. Check out Bacon's full quote below:
It was something that we definitely talked about. John [Logan] and I discussed [it], and there was something about being back in an actual camp on an actual lake. Friday 13th is Blairstown, New Jersey, and this was rural Georgia. I like being outside. I like the woods. So, I felt really happy to be there.
While They/Them is heavily influenced by Friday the 13th and the slasher genre, it manages to distinguish itself from its predecessors. They/Them centers on the experiences of LGBTQ+ characters, which is especially unique for a film within the slasher horror genre. By having the story unravel at a conversion camp, audiences will empathize with the characters as they endure a real-life horror that some within the LGBTQ+ community have actually experienced. However, empathy is not often something afforded to characters within the slasher genre. In Friday the 13th, camp counselors are little more than obstacles in Jason Voorhees' way, who meet their untimely demise without much mourning from the viewers. By tapping into social commentary and utilizing satire, They/Them flips the script on tired slasher tropes.