Horror Movie Review: T-Blockers (2023)

Directed by Alice Maio Mackay, who co-wrote the story with Benjamin Pahl Robinson, T-Blockers is an artistic and meta horror film. One that was shot with a predominantly queer, non-binary and trans cast and crew, on a notably low budget.

It’s an admirable film, with a lot of positives, but lacks finesse. Something that can certainly be forgiven as it was made when Alice Maio Mackay was just 17-years-old. She is a filmmaker with vision, that much is clear from watching T-Blockers, but alongside that, she has something to say and you best bloody listen.

It’s not got the most straight-forward of stories to explain, mainly because it has so many meta-elements, but the basic premise goes something like this. Sophie (Lauren Last) is a trans filmmaker struggling to get by in a world where she often feels marginalised. Transphobia and homophobia are a sad, but expected aspect of her life, and it seems to be spreading amongst cis-men. They’re being radicalised, not just by misinformation, but by parasitic worms that turn them into zombies.

Didn’t expect that, did you?

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Get used to the feeling of T-Blockers pulling the rug from out under you, as it’s just one of many shifts it utilises to tell a story with obvious, but important, real-world links.

Sophie, along with her friends, realise that what they are experiencing is reflected in some lost horror movie they saw and decide to use that to create their own schlocky horror film. All while forming a masked vigilante style gang to try and put an end to the parasite-infected men. There are also some really meta moments involving Australian drag queen Etcetera Etcetera as they channel their inner- Elvira. These scenes are very cool looking.

If you’re thinking that all of this sounds awfully confusing, you would be right, as narratively, T-Blockers is all over the place and that doesn’t make it the most compelling of watches. However, the faults in the story become less glaring as the characters become more real. While there isn’t a ton of time with a fairly substantial cast, many stand out. One of the best scenes in the entire film involves Sophie simply sitting with her brother and talking about life. It is one of film’s most real moments, and the acting is incredible.

This is where Alice Maio Mackay shows talent, as well as artistic vision. Sure, there’s fun to be had with blood and guts, but it’s when character substance is at the forefront that T-Blockers is at its most enjoyable. These characters, their lives, and their struggles in the face of horror, both real and surreal, is the most watchable aspect of the film.

It does run out of steam and the manic story-telling that makes up the latter part of the film does hurt its overall enjoyability, but most will reflect on it, come the credits, in a positive light. There’s plenty about T-Blockers that doesn’t quite work, especially as a captivating horror, but there’s plenty that really does.


  • Carl Fisher

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T-Blockers (2023)
  • The Final Score - 6/10
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