The newly released Horror Noire documentary is a must see for lovers of horror and cinema history. Monday, it screened to a packed house at BAM.
Mixing connoisseurs of the genre with film makers and actors, it studies the history of black people in horror. Featuring some of the coolest movies through the decades, it tackles 70’s blaxploitation all the way through Jordan Peele’s 2017 game changing Get Out. Discussing typical, black horror tropes it connects horror movies with real life atrocities all the way to the Birth of a Nation.
7 interesting takeaways from the Horror Noire documentary:
1. Jordan Peele has already cemented himself into black horror history. He describes some of his own influences. From wanting to create a horror movie with “no good white person”, (there’s typically always one), to old Twilight Zone episodes.
In Horror Noire, Peele reveals something that everyone might not know.
Chris actually goes to jail in the original Get Out ending. He changed it after realizing the audience desperately needed to root for something. (Also, the chair he’s sitting in is THAT Get Out chair.)
2. The documentary interviews Rachel True from the 90’s cult classic The Craft. She humorously recalls reciting token “are you ok” lines to white, female counterparts.
3. Director Rudy Cundieff hired David Alan Grier for the abusive husband in Tales from the Hood without knowing he was Shakespearean trained. He only knew of his comedic chops, and thought seeing a more serious side of Grier would be more impactful. He was right.
4. Mole People, Ganja and Hess (later retitled Blood Couple), and Abby are all lesser known films which also played a role in history.
Abby is about a wife who turns into a sex crazed killing demon. Enough said. Ganja and Hess, a deeper, more profound vampire movie has been restored and is now available for the first time.
5. Tony Todd initially turned down the Candyman role.
6. On the topic of Candyman, there’s frustration with some plot points and racial cliches. Including a discussion over the Clive Barker screenplay which is technically problematic. Candyman would enact his revenge towards the city, and the wealthy people that wronged him. Not the black community of Cabrini Green.
An interesting takeaway considering Jordan Peele is now working on the remake.
7. The driving force of the Horror Noire documentary is Producer Ashlee Blackwell. She runs Graveyard Shift Sisters which focuses on black women in horror.
After the film, Blackwell shared her thoughts in a discussion panel. She mentioned the influence of slasher movies like Freddy and Jason. Underrated movies, in her opinion. A viewpoint this writer happens to agree with too.
Horror Noire is now available to stream on Shudder.
Have you seen the Horror Noire documentary? What did you think?