You’re Out is showing at Frightfest 2023 in the Short Film Showcase No. 1
There is an inherent beauty in the short-form film’s ability to unpick a single emotion, a brief but powerful event or a conversation that shapes your entire world. Short-form films can freely play with genre, experiment with new ideas, and reflect a single moment through various cinematic lenses. In You’re Out New Zealand, filmmaker Chaz Harris explores coming out through a horror lens, and the result is a sharp, cheeky and detailed exploration of personal transformation and fear.
Coming out sounds easy, right? All you have to do is tell people you are attracted to members of the same or both sexes. It’s simple: You sit people down and say, “I’m gay,” or “I’m a lesbian,” or “I’m bi”. Then you wait for the barrage of questions, the disappointed sigh, or the ecstatic “finally!” Of course, anyone who has been through this process knows that it’s not simple, easy or, in most cases, quick.
Straight people will never fully understand the inner turmoil that bubbles under the surface as you battle with the decision to come out. Neither do they fully comprehend the years you spend living a double life before those words, “I’m… spill from your mouth. Of course, things are slowly changing, and there’s no doubt it’s better now than when I came out, more years ago than I care to remember. But kids and teens still come of age in a Heteronormative world where they are made to feel different. This sense of difference can make many feel like two people are battling for supremacy over their body and mind, one silently pretending they are straight while the other screams to be set free as they stalk an individual’s every waking moment. Trust me, for a time, it can feel like you are starring in your own horror movie!
In You’re Out, Harris brilliantly explores the horror at the heart of the coming out process and the internal fear and battle we all endure before finally accepting we need to be honest, open and free. In You’re Out, Harris joyfully pays homage to Scream and Halloween as a young closeted gay man battles the deadliest foe he could ever encounter. But can he escape the knife-wielding, rainbow-masked killer before his parents arrive for an evening meal, or will the ravenous queer stalker win the battle for his soul. There’s much to love in this delightfully fun psychological thriller and its commentary on the internal struggle leading up to coming out. From its sharp screenplay to its playful embrace of horror classics, Harris’ short film isn’t afraid to explore the internal fears every LGBTQ+ person battles while putting on a smile in public.
There’s much to love in this delightfully fun psychological thriller and its commentary on the internal struggle leading up to coming out. From its sharp screenplay to its playful embrace of horror classics, Harris’ short film isn’t afraid to explore the internal fears every LGBTQ+ person battles while putting on a smile in public.