FEMME is a new thriller focused on an LGBTQ+ character who’s been through a violent homophobic attack. When he sees the opportunity for revenge, he goes for it. Despite the danger involved. Read our full FEMME movie review here!

FEMME is a thriller finally coming out (pun intended) in US theaters. I first caught this movie as part of the Fantasia International Film Festival in July 2023, and I have not been able to forget it since. We didn’t review it back then because we wanted to wait until a wider release, which is finally happening (in steps) now.

This is a revenge story but of a very different variety. For one, the two main characters (portrayed perfectly by Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and George MacKay) are both part of the LGBTQ+ rainbow. However, their lives are extremely different. Including one of them being closeted and extremely homophobic.

Continue reading our FEMME movie review below. Find it in US theaters beginning March 22, 2024.

Brutal Queer Revenge Thriller

If I were to describe FEMME with just a few words, it would most likely be as a brutal queer revenge thriller. Sure, it’s also about nature versus nurture, and the choices we make in life, but that’s when you get into the two characters carrying the plot.

FEMME opens with a very brutal scene that sets the tone. The celebrated drag artist Aphrodite Banks has done a show when the man wearing the make-up, Jules (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) steps out to get some cigarettes. He’s still in full drag and a group of men start verbally abusing him.

No stranger to this sort of abuse, Jules uses a classic catty drag approach and starts roasting them right back. Unfortunately, Jules wasn’t aware of just how homophobic one of them was. This results in him being viciously beaten by one of the men (George MacKay).

While Jules does manage to recover physically, he becomes a hermit and stays at home. Clearly and understandably traumatized by the attack. Several months later, he starts going out again. This is when he recognizes his attacker in a gay sauna.

When Jules is presenting as a man, without make-up and simply wrapped in a towel, he can easily approach his attacker without being recognized. To get back to his old self, Jules wants revenge. And he’s playing the long game, so he begins an affair with the very closeted Preston, with a plan to get revenge.

Femme (2023) – Review | LTGBTQ+ Thriller | Fantasia

Some wild code-switching

As the plan is executed, Jules finds himself getting to know Preston (George MacKay) and even becomes integrated into his straight social circle. Once that happens, it’s clear that Preston is beginning to feel the heat. However, he is also falling for Jules. Very much against his own wishes as he hates his own sexuality.

In this London-set thriller that is definitely a sinister revenge story, but also one you can easily understand, we’re introduced to a dark and brutal world. As a closeted gay man operating in a not entirely legal occupation, Preston is used to leading an extremely compartmentalized life.

His being gay is something that is just for him, and as far as everyone he knows, he hates queers. Which isn’t untrue, but it also means he hates himself which is no way to live. In that sense, meeting Jules helps him see another life. But he cannot stay in his current world if he wants Jules.


Genre movies and series have lots of LGBTQ+ stories, just check out out tag here >

It’s a complex world of understanding that choices are part of your identity. Especially as he sees Jules navigate the very straight world of his social circle. The code-switching when it comes to sexual orientation – as well as race and ideology – is one that most minorities will recognize.

FEMME is a true powerhouse of a queer thriller that deals with trauma and choices. The two core characters are unforgettable as portrayed by George MacKay (Marrowbone, 1917) and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Candyman, Azrael). Each delivers breathtaking performances and together they are on fire!

Supporting actors also help the worldbuilding of two very different kinds of environments and social circles. The supporting cast includes John McCrea (Dracula), Asha Reid, Aaron Heffernan (War of the Worlds series), and Antonia Clarke (The Girl Before).

Watch Femme in theaters

FEMME is the debut feature film of the writer-director duo Sam H. Freeman & Ng Choon Ping. The feature film is based on their own 2021 short film of the same title.

The BIFA-winning and BAFTA-nominated short FEMME starred Paapa Essiedu (Black Mirror, Men) and Harris Dickinson (A Murder at the End of the World). It premiered in competition at SXSW.

The feature version has played at film festivals worldwide for more than a year and has won several awards and been nominated for many more. It’s the winner of 3 British Independent Film Awards. Including a very deserved “Best Joint Lead Performance” to Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and George MacKay.

The runtime is 99 minutes and this is one of those movies that isn’t one second too long. In fact, you almost want it to last a bit longer to see what happens next. While this is amazing for a debut feature film for the writer-director duo, it’s also just a brilliant movie. Full stop.

While I usually enjoy revenge thrillers, FEMME is one of the few that stayed with me. Still does!

FEMME opens at the IFC Center in New York on March 22, 2024, and at AMC The Grove in Los Angeles on March 29, 2024, with a national expansion to follow.


Directors: Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping
Writers: Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping
Cast: George Mackay, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, John McCrea, Antonia Clarke, Aaron Heffernan


With his performances as Aphrodite Banks, Jules (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) has a place among London’s celebrated drag artists. One night after a show, he steps out to get some cigarettes and is brutally attacked by a man (George MacKay), out with a gang of his friends. Although Jules is able to recover physically, he withdraws from the outside world, traumatized. Months later, he recognizes his attacker by chance in a gay sauna. Without make-up and wrapped only in a towel, Jules is able to approach the other man incognito and find out who he is. He begins an affair with the closeted Preston, with a plan to take his revenge.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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