Nightmare on Sedgwick Avenue – “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror – Documentary Review”

By: Gaby Moreno

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Documentary: Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror

Directed By: Xavier Burgin

Interviews/Cast: Jordan Peele, Tony Todd, Keith David, Rusty Cundieff, Rachel True, Loretta Devine and more!

Rating: 4.5/5 

Release Date: February 7, 2019

Stream: Shudder Original

Stand out quotes: “We’ve always loved horror, it’s just that horror unfortunately hasn’t always loved us” and “Black history is Black Horror”

Hello Hip Hop Heads and Horror Fans,

Today I will be discussing and reviewing shudder’s original Documentary: Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. I had a chance to watch it and definitely learned more about black horror. Being a horror fan, I love nerding out over the history of horror! Especially learning about black horror and its influence to the horror culture! Maybe Guillermo Del Toro will watch this and be inspired to create a documentary for Mexican horror! I would be so excited, one can only wish!

This documentary couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. We are currently in a new era where we are seeing black actors being casted as lead characters/heroes in horror movies. As well as being portrayed in a positive light. This has not been the case in the past.

This documentary discusses the history of blacks in horror movies. It goes into each decade beginning in the 1920s how black characters evolved in horror films. Also how the social climate played a big role in how blacks were portrayed in film. Also non-horror films are mentioned because these films were horrifying to the black community. These non horror films portrayed blacks in a negative and inhumane way.

This was a very informative documentary wish it had been longer. Felt like it just touched the surface of black horror and could have gone more in depth. This could have had a part two with more actors, directors, and scholars that could have spoken about their contribution to black horror. I also hoped it would have had a segment on future predictions as to where black horror cinema is going.

Specially with director/producer/writer like Jordan Peele (Oscar Winner) who has become the go to horror director after his amazing film “Get Out”. It had been awhile since I had enjoyed a psychological horror movie. That movie was amazing on so many levels. From the black actors being protagonist and heroes to the foreshadowing and poetic revenge! What made this film truly terrifying was how you can tell it was influenced by the current state of society. From police murdering blacks to 45’s presidency that had caused more racial tension to rise. It was a beautifully crafted movie. Every time I watch it I always find something new I hadn’t noticed before.

I enjoyed hearing the accounts from actors, directors and scholars. You got a glimpse of how it was to be part of a horror movie in those decades. You got to hear about the prejudice and racism these actors or directors had to face to be part of these films or to just give their input and be taken into account. This documentary also put me onto black horror films I had not seen. I will definitely be adding them to my watchlist!

I do not want to give spoilers. All I can say it is definitely worth watching. This documentary is geared towards those who are horror fans, history buffs and for the black community!

Thank you for reading my review. Hope you all enjoyed it! Until next time horror fiends and hip hop heads!

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