Repressed Sexuality, Ghosts and Bad Children in ‘The Innocents’ [Horror Queers Podcast]

Dabbling and Dawdling.

March wound up being a wild month that offered something for everyone: Trace and I revisited two horror franchises with looks at Bride of Chucky and Friday the 13th Part 7. We went classy for French foreign horror Diabolique, slept through bland American thriller The Skulls, and tackled our first parody in Scary Movie 2.

We’re kicking off April with a classic Gothic Horror film in Jack Clayton‘s The Innocents. This adaptation of Henry JamesThe Turn of the Screw finds Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) arriving at Bly Manor to look after two increasingly erratic children.

Are Miles and Flora being possessed by the ghosts of the deceased lovers who died on the grounds…or are the children playing a cruel trick on their sexually repressed, religious governess?

The best thing about The Innocents is that the argument can be made for both readings!

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Episode 120 – The Innocents (1961)

This week on the pod, we’re headed back to Bly Manor with Jack Clayton’s 1961 classic, The Innocents (see also: last year’s Patreon episode on The Haunting of Bly Manor). This classic Gothic Horror film is reminiscent of Diabolique, Rebecca and The Haunting and has a strong queer connection thanks to screenwriter Truman Capote, whom we discuss at length, including Trace’s hatred of Holly Golightly.

Plus: an influential 15th-century picture book, Cinemascope challenges, the genesis of Austin Powers, and evil children. But the real question is whether Miss Giddens is going mad…or are there actually ghosts?

Cross out The Innocents!

Coming up on Wednesday: We’re revisiting the most celebrated horror film in Oscar history with a look at The Silence of the Lambs.

P.S. Subscribe to our Patreon for tons of additional content! April is unofficially video game horror month with episodes on Monster Hunter (2021), as well as both Mortal Kombat films (1995 and 2021). Plus minisodes on the Best Jump Scares and our wrap up of Sundance and SXSW. 

– Joe & Trace

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