Lyle and Bit are essential queer horror films to watch for Halloween as they showcase the terrifying worlds of demon pacts and vampires.
The supernatural world is very complicated for newcomers who are suddenly getting attached to their environment. Being forced to make a pact is extremely terrifying. The very worst thing is that your body, soul, and mind start to lose control. Your very essence is disrupted, and you try to find ways to save yourself. The following films for this Devilish Month column present all sorts of dreadful deals that twist from body to body.
Lyle (2014) is written and directed by Stewart Thorndike which tells the harrowing ordeal of what Leah (Gabby Hoffmann) experiences in her new apartment. Recently arrived, a gruesome tragedy takes the life of Lyle (Eleanor Hopkins), the toddler daughter of Leah, and her wife June (Ingrid Jungermann). As months pass, Leah still grieves for Lyle while expecting her second pregnancy.
However, Leah begins encountering disturbing details that might explain Lyle’s death. This provokes an increasing paranoia towards her wife and her neighbors Karen (Rebecca Street) and Taylor (Kim Allen). What Leah seems to theorize is that a Devil’s pact may be involved as an agenda to sacrifice her children. With terror increasing, Leah might get the most harrowing moment that a mother would never imagine.
Lyle is a deeply unsettling film that highlights a mother’s descent towards madness and survivalism. Leah does everything she can to protect her upcoming child as well as defend herself from outside threats. Her relationship with June gets strained after therapy sessions and June’s disbelief of Leah’s warnings surrounding Lyle’s death. Neighbors Karen and Taylor provide more pressure and skepticism to Leah as they give hints to Leah’s theories.
The interesting aspect of the film is that Leah and June do not seem to be targeted due to their sexual orientation as well as being queer parents; in fact, their haunting case applies the same as any heterosexual couple with a family. Still, Lyle is a good queer horror film that centers on the supernatural terror that terrorizes the family unit of a queer couple.
Bit (2019) is written and directed by Brad Michael Elmore which centers on the new life that Laurel (Nicole Maines) begins as a new kind of vampire in Los Angeles, California. Laurel recently graduates from high school and decides to move with her brother Mark (James Paxton) to L.A. while she figures out her path in life. As Mark takes Laurel to a bar to see a rock band, Laurel meets Izzy (Zolee Griggs) and her friends, Roya (Friday Chamberlain), Frog (Char Diaz), and Duke (Diana Hopper). In a long night, Izzy bites Laurel which converts her into a vampire.
As days pass, Laurel begins transforming into a vampire till Duke and her friends arrive at Mark’s home to take Laurel to their hive. Duke reveals herself as the vampire leader whose purpose is to eradicate toxic men who have caused man-made disasters against humanity and as she highlights in her vampire rules, no men shall be converted into a vampire since they cannot handle power. As Laurel is accepted into Duke’s gang, she learns the backstory of Duke as well as the forces that threaten their kind. However, the problem arises as Laurel tries to repress her hunger and ideals which puts her into a fight with Duke’s gang.
This film is a remarkable vampire movie that examines inclusivity as well as power struggles between men and women. Laurel navigates this new life as a vampire who tries to understand her life’s purpose as well as the vampiric ideologies between herself and Duke. As vampires, Duke and her gang display a renegade organization in killing despicable men who use their influence to destroy the lives of innocent people just for power. That power that everyone seeks comes from Duke’s former master Vlad (Greg Hill) whose vampire powers can vastly influence anyone to his will.
This kind of power also twists Duke and Laurel’s lives as each tries to find a better world for the vampires. In an incredible queer aspect, Laurel is a transgender woman whose inclusion in Duke’s gang does not seem like a threat to her gender identity. Duke’s gang is very inclusive for gender and sexual expression much to the delight of Laurel and for queer people who seek safe spaces. In the end, power is what corrupts the world no matter if it is between a vampire or a human.
Lyle and Bit are good films that present an array of queer characters who are forced to make pacts with the supernatural world. Leah and Laurel’s lives are immediately disrupted as they arrived at their new homes encountering supernatural forces. More so, they struggle to balance a complicated new life while facing external dangers that request their presence without giving them a choice. No matter if the pact is either with the devil or a vampire, a deal has been made which prompts Leah and Laurel to pledge a sacrifice for power and submission.
However, both choose alternate methods to deal with it such as Leah looking for freedom from the devil while Laurel embracing her vampire powers. The queer representation in these films highlights more inclusivity in portraying family units with same-sex parents and transgender people whose existence is not a threat to the creatures that lurk in the night and around every corner of the Earth. To conclude, Lyle and Bit are essential queer horror films to watch for Halloween as they showcase the terrifying worlds of demon pacts and vampires.
Lyle is currently streaming in Shudder while Bit is streaming via Tubi.
Have You Seen Lyle Or Bit?
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