‘I Saw The TV Glow’ reviews praise ‘powerful and deeply resonating’ trans horror flick

I Saw The TV Glow cast at Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival is officially in motion and one of the top titles on everyone’s lips is trans horror film I Saw The TV Glow.

Written and directed by non-binary filmmaker Jane Schoebrun, the enchanting emo horror tells the story of teenager Owen, who is trying to make it through life in the suburbs when his classmate Maddy introduces him to the mysterious TV show The Pink Opaque.

The supernatural series with a cult following allows Owen and Maddy to get away from their real lives, though eventually, it starts to become hard to decipher between fantasy and reality. When Maddy decides she’s willing to ditch her dissatisfying reality and go all-in on fantasy, Owen must decide if he’s going to come with her.

I Saw The TV Glow cast at Sundance Film Festival
Trans horror flick I Saw The TV Glow is a hit among critics. (Getty Images)

The film stars Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical), Justice Smith (All The Bright Places), Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Phoebe Bridgers. It also features a new original song from Caroline Polachek. If that line-up isn’t enough to entice you, nothing will be.

After premiering at Sundance Film Festival this week, the A24 film has been met with consistently raving reviews.

While it’s not overly explicit with its trans commentary Schoebrun has made it clear through her ethereal storytelling techniques that I Saw The TV Glow is inherently about identity and self-acknowledgement.

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Speaking with Variety, Schoebrun describes it as the “egg crack” moment – aka the moment when “you stop pretending you’re not trans, trying to desperately find every reason why you’re not, and admit ofr the first time that you are. That moment can reframe everything in your life.”

Schoebrun, who is also trans, added: “When I wrote this movie, I was still very early in my physical transition and dealing with that moment in a very visceral way myself. 

“I was doing a lot of reflecting on how the glow of queerness had been there forever. But I was finding the language and courage to explore those parts of myself.”

I Saw The TV Glow writer and director Jane Schoenbrun
Director Jane Schoenbrun has said the film is about the “egg crack” moment that comes with being trans. (Getty Images)

Now that the first batch of reviews are out, it’s been decided: I Saw The TV Glow is a must-watch.

While Out Magazine’s Mey Rude describes the film as a “powerful and deeply resonating trans allegory that also soars as a horror film, Bloody Disgusting’s Meagan Navarro hails it as a “ layered and authentic portrait of identity and dysphoria.”

Slate’s Sam Adams describes I Saw The TV Glow as “unnerving, unsettling, and engrossing”, and Ross Bonaime tells Collider that the film is nothing short of  “bold, unhinged, extremely unusual, and also kind of magnificent.”

There’s no mainstream release date for I Saw The TV Glow as of yet, but after reading these reviews, people can’t seem to wait much longer!

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