In The Closet
Writer, Director, Producer
On a night almost like any other, a shy, awkward young man has his first ever sexual encounter with an older, experienced, but a bit jaded, trick.
On a night almost like any other, a shy, awkward young man has his first ever sexual encounter with an older, experienced, but a bit jaded, trick. Unlike other nights, unlike other dark and odd evenings, this time passion is shared, souls are exposed and secrets are ultimately revealed — but at a cost. You see, sometimes, in order for someone to come out, someone else must go in. Willingly or not.
Starring J.T. Tepnapa and Brent Corrigan / Sean Paul Lockhart.
This was the first film of mine that “worked” all the way through. From the opening moments, to the performances, to the touch of the erotic, to the down right horror of the end, in IN THE CLOSET I finally got a glimmer of how to combine writing, directing, producing and performance into a cohesive whole. While not perfect, I still love the film. Audiences did as well. IN THE CLOSET was nominated for an IRIS Prize, an international award for the best gay short film of the year.
“Written and directed by Jody Wheeler, the film is a short, sharp bite (no pun intended) of creepy fun. Spoiler alert: Stop here if you don’t want to know anything else. Mr. Corrigan plays a shy young pup who lures home an experienced older stud (J.T. Tepnapa) for his first bout of sex. But, natch, there are darker motivations at play and monsters lurk in the corners… Ten-minute running time heightens the pull of dread as the inevitable denouement unfolds.”
“Thankfully the sexual shenanigans to be had allow for porn star turned actor Brent Corrigan to get his acting credentials out for the boys, backed as he is by the fine work of ‘Star Trek: New Voyages’ actor JT Tepnapa as Griffin; a man on a mission for close encounters of the gay kind. Along the way however Wheeler fine-tunes the cinematic tension, feeding you with lines that hint of what is to come, whilst equally allowing inhibitions to be lowered to reveal inner feelings and if anything, personal fears.”
“There’s a level of dramatic mystery to this film from the start, as Press (Corrigan) picks up Griffin (Tepnapa) in a bar and brings him home. But there’s something making quiet noises in the bedroom, and although Press seems like a nervous, nice young guy, Griffin is clearly in for a surprise. Skillfully shot and edited, with solid acting from the two leads, this film draws us in simply because we know that there’s a secret lurking here. But before we find out, there’s a rather cheesy soft-porn interlude. And at least it redeems itself with some intriguing plot twists, conversations and acting afterwards. And before things get too strange, it even touches on some bigger issues along the way.”