For as long as horror has existed, LGBTQ+ people have identified with the genre’s stories of repressed fears and desires, misunderstood monsters, and outsiders of all sorts. “Queer For Fear” convincingly argues that queer culture doesn’t just align well with horror, but that it does so purposely, as the genre has been a vessel through which authors can safely tell queer stories from its very inception. This docuseries isn’t the first text to ever posit as much, but it’s probably the most fun one. It’s easy to breeze through all four episodes of the show, caught up in the charisma of the storytellers, the stylish presentation of the clips, and the seamless blend of cultural analysis, well-sourced history, and personal stories from the vast slate of commentators.
“Queer For Fear” also manages to be accessible to all audiences; you don’t have to have any queer horror prerequisites to check this show out. It’s cleverly edited, starting with an engrossing, fact-driven baseline history before relaxing and leaning into the humor and heart of its interviewees. At one point, they debate whether Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) from “Rebecca” is a service top or bottom. At another, they all but turn into the eye emoji about a romantic letter Bram Stoker sent to Walt Whitman, while the author’s yearning is brought to life via gorgeously illustrated animations (above). For all its variety and depth, “Queer For Fear” is mercifully lacking in the manufactured emotional moments or oversimplified calls to action that are common with talking head docs. Instead, it trusts real-life, queer horror history to be wild and thrilling enough to warrant our attention on its own — and it is.