Earlier this year, The xx’s Oliver Sim announced that his first solo album is coming this September. Titled Hideous Bastard, he said that it is produced entirely by bandmate Jamie xx, adding: “My sister Romy has been by my side right the way through.”
At the time, Sim also teased that the record would be “brought to life” as a short queer horror film, directed by friend and “Fruit” director Yann Gonzalez. Now, we have a better idea of what to expect from the forthcoming horror musical, Hideous, with the release of the first full trailer.
Starring Sim as a talk show guest who is probed about his life growing up, the short film slides into a surrealist exploration of his queerness and self image, notably revolving around his HIV diagnosis at the age of 17. Featuring songs from his upcoming album, the trailer also features some footage from the “Hideous” music video, released in May 2022.
Premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the horror film also stars singer and campaigner Jimmy Somerville as the Guardian Angel, while Bimini plays the Queen of Doom. Jamie xx also features as the sound guy, alongside Fehinti Balogun, César Vicente, and Kate Moran.
“Early on in the making of my record, Hideous Bastard, I realised that I was writing a lot about fear and shame,” said Sim, on the release of the “Hideous” music video earlier this year. “I imagine that might paint a picture of a dark, ‘woe is me’ sounding album, but in recent years I’ve become a firm believer that the best antidote to these feelings can be bringing them to the surface and shedding some light on them.”
“I realised I’d been circling around one of the things that has probably caused me the most fear and shame. My HIV status. I’ve been living with HIV since I was 17 and it’s played with how I’ve felt towards myself, and how I’ve assumed others have felt towards me, from that age and into my adult life.”
Revisit the music video for “Hideous” below, and watch Oliver Sim’s new horror film trailer via MUBI.