Peacock is releasing They/Them this month, and reviews are not looking good. As of writing, the conversion therapy horror flick currently holds 41% on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score is lower at a 12%.
It follows a group of teens at a conversion therapy camp to “correct” them on their sexuality and gender identities. The streaming film, pronounced “they slash them,” is written and directed by John Logan (Penny Dreadful). It stars Kevin Bacon, Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Theo Germaine (Work in Progress), Quei Tann (Dear White People), Austin Crute (Booksmart), Monique Kim (What/If), and Anna Lore (All American).
Peacock does not deliver as reviews tear They/Them apart
While many reviews for They/Them hammer its execution, its performances hold it up. The Hollywood Reporter’s Lovia Gyarke applauds the leads Bacon and Germaine. The critic noted that the film delivers an “optimistic throughline” about “self-acceptance and chosen family.” When it comes to the slasher part, it was mentioned that the kills were not “inventive or frightening,” making it work better as an examination of conversion therapy and identity rather than a horror flick.
Some of the reviews of They/Them found it to lack in all areas that it dips its toes in, from its attempt to be a thoughtful drama to a chilling horror picture. IGN’s Siddhant Adlakha said that when the film reaches its supposedly exhilarating climax, it “feels downright cowardly” as it steps away from its committing to its drama or horror. For its themes, the film lacked in what it had to say, and as the critic put it, “even if it had something worthwhile to say, it would have no idea how to say it.”
Even for those who liked the film, the slasher elements hurt it from being stronger. For one of the They/Them reviews that covered this, Collider’s Marco Vito Oddo wrote that the “slasher clichés that are neither scary nor original.” While the writer recommended it, it was mentioned that its “subtlety” is left behind to be more “on-the-nose” with its messaging.
They/Them was released on July 24th and will be available on Peacock on August 5th.