Apr 18, 2022

"The Boy Behind the Door": Classic Gay Subtext Couple Kidnapped


Two boys roam a desolate forest.  Tight close-ups of their faces as they discuss going somewhere else,  somewhere where "the sun is always shining," like California.  Living in the Straight World, it's hard to remember that West Hollywood is still there.  If I didn't tell her, I could leave today.  California dreamin' on such a winter day.

Kevin (Ezra Dewey): Promise you won't go without me.

Bobby (Lonnie Chaves): Of course.  Friends to the end.

They share dandelions and play with their fingers against the sun.  Then a ball bounces into the woods.  Kevin goes to fetch it.  When he lingers, Bobby goes to see what happened.  They are both grabbed, tied, and put into a car trunk.   This is ridiculous.  Why would someone hang around a deserted woods looking for victims?

Six hours later, they arrive at their destination: a huge house in the woods.  The Kidnapper grabs Kevin, but leaves Bobby in the trunk.  Why would they leave one of their victims in the trunk?    He manages to free himself, but he can't run away and leave Kevin behind.  He goes into the house.

The Kidnapper has trapped Kevin "behind the door" to await the arrival of the Creep (Micah Hauptmann), who will purchase him, probably to rape and murder.  

Ok, this is ridiculous.  The vast majority of kids who go missing every year are runaways.  A small percent have been kidnapped by noncustodial parents.  The number of kids kidnapped by strangers is tiny, less than 1 per 100,000 capita, and most of those are for illegal adoptions or human trafficking.  Stranger kidnapping for rape and murder is so rare that you probably know the names of all of the victims from the last 20 years.

The movie becomes a taut (not taunt) thriller, as Bobby rescues Kevin, and Kevin in turn rescues Bobby.  There are footsteps in hallways, slowly turning door knobs, people with axes, and deaths:  a suspicious police officer (Sean Michael Scott, top photo), the Creep, the Kidnapper.  

The boys make standard horror movie mistakes -- don't go upstairs, get out of the house!  -- but they're 12 years old, so who can blame them.  They are both injured.  But -- spoiler alert -- they escape.  And the police cars finally arrive.

Next scene: A desolate beach, presumably in California.  What happened to the boys' parents? It's a gray, cloudy day, but they're together. They smile at each other. Friends to the end.  

 None. Lonnie Chaves was a kid in the movie, but he's now 17, and on his way to hunkiness.

Gay Characters:  Bobby and Kevin have a classic gay subtext romance, with rescuing, physicality, and permanence.  Plus at no time before or after the kidnapping do they have a discussion about girls.  

My Grade: B. 

1 comment:

  1. The two boys are good actors and they have a subtext chemistry. The movie starts off with dread and suspense but then some of the action is bit hard to believe.


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