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Horror Noire #MovieReview

A look at the history of black horror films and the role of African Americans in the film genre from the very beginning.

Horror Noire movie cover

Starring: Meosha BeanAshlee BlackwellRobin R. Means Coleman

Release Date: 7 February 2019 | Country: USA | Runtime: 1hr 23min | Directed by: Xavier Burgin | Source: Shudder | Starred Review

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Horror Noire Review

“Black history is black horror” – Tananarive Due

Just as reality can be stranger than fiction, the real horrors that humans hide within and inflict on others is very real. History and current events have shown this to be true. White creators have long used art to express themselves, however, what about those that have experienced generational trauma, yet denied the opportunity to use their own voices to tell their stories?

Horror Noire examines the portrayal of the black community in horror and the involvement of black creators in the horror film industry. Framed within an empty movie theatre, black creators watch films from different time periods while discussing their opinions/ involvement in each one. Writers, scholars, actors, and directors all tell us what each story means to them. Everyone is superb on their own, but the power of their collective insight will leave you thinking about this documentary for days. I couldn’t stop turning it around in my mind, not just as a woman from a marginalized community (I’m Mexican American) that has felt unseen, but how I want to be better in my own storytelling. As a Mexican American writer of horror, it helped me re-examine how I include black characters in my own stories because I do strive to have individuals from different backgrounds.

In short, it floored me. If you are a horror fan or creator of horror, I truly feel this is a must-see

.Horror Noire is more than insightful. It breaks down each narrative to show you why it is crucial for the black community to represent themselves in horror storytelling. Dangerous stereotypes perpetuate dangerous perceptions and attitudes. How can we prevent this from happening if we ignore creators from marginalized communities? Another important point in this documentary is that not everything is meant for the white gaze.

Snippets are entertaining (Snoop blushing after kissing Pam Grier! Miguel A. Nuñez Jr. brings comic relief), but as a whole it is disturbing. I was disturbed by how stereotypes/ tropes have been normalized over time. It is one thing to know this intellectually versus seeing it and hearing from those it is affecting.

Black History Month ends on February 29th, but we shouldn’t relegate diversity to a few weeks. Let’s make inclusion a priority. Black horror by black creators will only enrich the genre and I hope it brings us together rather than apart. Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way.

Recently, President Trump ridiculed South Korean film, Parasite, for winning an Academy Award for Best Picture. He stated, “Why can’t we have more films like Gone with the Wind?” Exactly. That is why this documentary is so vital.

Out of five stars, this gets a ten.

Published inMovie ReviewsStarred Reviews
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
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