There’s a good reason why the most recent season of American Horror Story was inspired by 80s slasher films: the combination of hot people dying gruesomely is what camp is all about. So it’s no surprise that Hulu’s holiday horror anthology series Into the Dark also took a cue from slasher classics for Midnight Kiss, which follows a group of L.A. gays as they set out to Palm Springs for a New Year’s Eve celebration that quickly turns deadly.
But what’s so refreshing about Midnight Kiss is how the gay subtext that’s always existed in horror is explicit, rather than just alluded to. This isn’t a horror film where the gay guy dies first after a few good one-liners, its one where the gay guys keep dying and the razor-sharp dialogue never ends. (Spoiler alert: there’s a Final Girl and a Final Gay.)
There’s also a quintissential gay douche, played expertly by Scott Evans — known to some as Captain America’s (Chris Evans) IRL gay brother. Before the ball drops, Out caught up with Evans to chat about Midnight Kiss, his own potential homicidal leanings, and whether he’s seen all the gay fan fiction starring his brother’s superhero alter ego.
One of the things that I loved about Midnight Kiss was that it was one of those rare pieces of media about gay people that felt like actual gay people had written it. It seemed like you guys were talking like queer people would really talk.
For a lot of the dialogue in it, they'd say action and kind of just like let us go. It's so funny because when we're doing it we were like is this going to be a joke but...we're taking the piss out of ourselves, kind of poking fun at ourselves and it's campy in a super fun way because it's how we talk, how we are and it sucks that that's groundbreaking to see an entire gay cast in a movie but it is.
It is groundbreaking, because representation is one thing but even something like Will & Grace still feels like it's being written for straight people.
Totally. With Will & Grace, as incredible as Eric McCormack is sometimes it's like...you are straight. [With Midnight Kiss] we are allowed to say all this and we get away with it. It almost makes it funnier or more real because we're poking fun at ourselves for very real stuff that we all do.
Slasher movies have this long history of being super campy. Why do you think it was so perfect to make a slasher movie that is really explicitly gay?
I didn't expect to laugh as much as I did. In shooting it, it felt like we spent so much of the time doing those crazy screaming, fighting, running scenes that I forgot the first 30 minutes is just joking around and being campy in a way that you accept as opposed to when you see some slasher movies where you're like, my God, this is campy in a bad way. I think that the camp came across and I think that comes from having actual members of the community playing those parts and our director is gay and the writer is gay. It also made the work environment sort of feel more natural.
It was also super realistic to have a group of mostly gay male friends who would have had this very incestuous history of all having slept with each other.
One hundred percent. Honestly, I think I loved the fact that we did this and I know that I'm going to have a lot of my straight friends ask, “You guys do this?” Yes, we go for weekends away and we go to clubs and this is literally how it is. Whether you're part of it or not, it's the world we live in and you never see it. You don't see it. [In movies] it's always either the token gay in every movie. I heard someone say the other day that it’s not realistic to have everyone be gay in the group and have one straight person. Well, it is in my world. It is in my life. It's the reality. I haven't seen a straight person in three weeks! It's nice to be able to show that, and while I haven't murdered anyone myself or had my friends kill anybody, I think it's possible. The rage, the jealousy, the craziness, the incestuousness ...
That will drive anyone to murder.
Yeah, there's a part in the movie where someone says that they've never hooked up with anyone from Grindr, that I think is maybe the most unrealistic part of the film.
Yeah. I'm sitting here watching Pete Buttigieg and his husband and I'm like there's got to be something out there and if there's not then he was trying to be president from the time he was like two. There's no judgment; people say “I don't use apps,” but it's okay to do it. It doesn't have to be a dirty thing. Sex can just be sex. Stop being jealous, straight people, that we found a way to do it that works!
During an interview with Jimmy Fallon you said that if you weren't an actor you would be a homicide detective — and, spoiler alert, your character does kill someone. So is this all of your dreams coming true?
Literally! And the film that you saw isn't what the original script was. After our first day of shooting on a Friday, by Monday the entire script was different. I was the killer in the original one, the whole time and plotted it with Logan (Lukas Gage) and then they switched it up. While I'm not the killer, I'm certainly a killer. I kill out of jealousy which I feel like I could be capable of.
Do you have a group of friends like what we see in the movie, a group of gays you go on vacations with?
Yes, and I think we do everything that you see except the murder. If we did we'd be able to hide the body and you'd never know. I tell my boyfriend all the time, ‘Don't piss me off because I can get away with it, I know I'd get away with it.’
Between Midnight Kiss and Knives Out, you and your brother both play the bad guy this year. Did you give each other spoilers?
I knew nothing about Knives Out and when I saw it, I had no idea [about the end.] Two nights ago I was doing Watch What Happens Live and they brought out the sweater [Chris Evans wears in the film], the sweater that has broken the internet, never since Kim Kardashian's ass on the cover of Paper has the internet been this broken. People are so obsessed with it. They brought me a sweater and they were like we want you to put it on, take a picture and see who wore it better, I was like no because I know the answer and it's him. What I will do though is...do you have a knife? I did that. Now I'm getting like hate messages on Twitter! Knives Out is going to get an Oscar for best costume because of him in this sweater.
I wrote a story earlier this year called “Which Avengers are Having the Most Gay Sex, According to Fan Fiction,” and I wonder if you can guess who's number one?
I'm guessing it's Stucky, is that what they call it...Bucky and Steve Rogers?
Does your brother get a kick out of it, do you get a kick out of it?
It is actually crazy...I'll get messages on social media being like, “I need to talk to you, we really need Chris and Sebastian to do a movie with them,” and I'm like, ‘Let me make some calls.’ I can't do this for you. People think it's the greatest love story ever told.
Could you see yourself playing another murderer?
I would love to. Growing up watching things like Scream and The Blair Witch Project, it was always so scary and being in one now I’m like, okay I can do this. It was fun. It's exhausting but being on set and just getting to do crazy shit that I hope you don't do in real life but it's make believe and it's awesome. I love it.
Do you hope that we're going to see more really campy gay slasher movies as well as more realistic depictions or what queer friend groups look like?
Not only do I hope, I think we will. I think that it's almost 2020 and the fact that Hollywood is just kind of coming around and letting gay people or members of the community play those parts, it's great. I think this will be something that doesn't necessarily have to live in a gay cult classic or a gay film or just for gay audiences because it's a fun movie. It's a fun group of friends and like I said, we had to grow up watching straight groups of friends, watch us. We're funnier.