It’s been a week since the premiere of the latest Into the Dark episode, MIDNIGHT KISS. The fun slasher flick centers around a group of gay best friends and their wing-woman bestie who all head to Palm Springs for their annual New Year’s Eve celebration. As secrets, jealousy, and anger bubble to the surface, the group finds themselves fighting for their lives against a masked killer. In the film, actor Lukas Gage plays Logan, the partner of Joel (Scott Evans), which adds an extra layer of tension in the already tense group dynamic between the characters in the film.
For the release of the film, Nightmarish Conjurings had the opportunity to chat with Lukas about their latest role as Logan, in the horror anthology. During the interview, Lukas discussed everything from his love of Into the Dark series as well as visibility for the LGBTQ+ community and the heavy themes tackled in MIDNIGHT KISS.
What attracted you to the role of Logan and have you always been a fan of horror?
Lukas Gage: I was a fan of the Into the Dark series – I’m just a huge horror fanatic in general, I love horror films. I grew up being obsessed with them and watched them with my mom as a little boy (laughs). So I was aware of the series and then I heard about this concept which sounded really cool – to have an LGBTQ-based film but mashed up with the horror genre. It was interesting because that week I watched Stranger by the Lake, a French LGBT horror/thriller, that had that same type of genre-mashing. I really like anything that feels different, new, or fresh.
Throughout the duration of the film, the viewer learns more about Logan’s background which featured a lot of heavy themes relating to his sexuality. What was it like channeling those types of emotions?
Lukas Gage: It was a bit challenging. It was also a bit hard to navigate how much I was able to expose and how much I was able to keep hidden because I felt like everything was right underneath the surface the whole time. That was hard to channel but with Carter’s navigation, I was able to figure out how much to show and how much I should keep tucked down.
Logan is also in an abusive relationship with Joel (played by Scott Evans). Was it hard to go through those motions with a smile on your face? What was it like working with Scott Evans especially during the more unfavorable scenes?
Lukas Gage: Scott was amazing and made sure I felt safe and comfortable the whole time. From an outside perspective, I see it as an extremely toxic, abusive relationship. For Logan, it was more like he wanted some kind of guidance, someone who had power over him, some kind of ownership, so he actually felt safe by it. Logan had other motivations and things that were more his focus in the relationship some of which were to be validated and wanted by everybody.
As a fan of horror, I’m sure you had a blast working with Carter Smith.
Lukas Gage: I was a huge fan [of his film] The Ruins. I was also a really big fan of his short film, Bedcrush. Being a fan of his for a while was definitely one of the reasons I was drawn to the project because he’s an expert at these genre-melding projects. I loved working with him, it was really collaborative. It was also a very open and free set where we could talk about ideas or improv a scene or add something that was different from the character. Carter was definitely open to hearing what we had to say and incorporating it into the movie.
Lastly, why do you think a film such as MIDNIGHT KISS is so important in 2020 and what do you hope viewers take away from it?
Lukas Gage: I think it’s like what Carter has said: we need these types of representations in all genres of film because he wishes his 15-year-old self had this movie when he was a kid. 2020 is a new year, a new decade, and we’ve made a lot of progress in society but we also have a ways to go and a lot more representation to see. Everyone should be able to see themselves represented.