Running time 1h 23min | Directed by Xavier Burgin | USA | Documentary, horror
“We’ve always loved horror, but horror hasn’t always loved us.” An look at the history of black horror films and the role of African Americans in the genre starting at the beginning, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror features interviews with filmmakers and scholars, showcasing a who’s who of black horror cinema, from those who survived the genre’s past trends to those shaping its future.
Featuring directors Rusty Cundieff (Tales From The Hood), Ernest Dickerson (Bones, Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight), and Jordan Peele (Get Out, the forthcoming Us); actors Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), Keith David (They Live, The Thing), Tony Todd (Candyman), Rachel True (The Craft), Miguel A. Núñez Jr. (Return of the Living Dead), Loretta Devine (Urban Legends), Paula Jai Parker (Tales from the Hood), Ken Sagoes (Nightmare on Elm Street 3/4), and Kelly Jo Minter (People Under the Stairs); and scholars Robin R. Means Coleman (who wrote the book upon which the film is based), Tananarive Due, and Ashlee Blackwell. Coleman, Due, and Blackwell all produced as well.
From exploring, poking fun at, and dismantling tropes such as First To Die, The Magical Negro, Faithful Servant, Sacrificial Negro, and Mammy Figure, to also detailing some of the more horrific real-life Black horror history moments such as the Tuskegee Experiments, Horror Noire is a comprehensive study of how horror fiction reflects life in America as a Black person. Through dozens of interviews with Black horror directors, writers, producers, actors, and academics, Horror Noire takes us on a deep dive into this vital part of American film history. .
Sezin Koehler | Black Girl Nerds | Rating 5.0/5.0 | Full review
Horror Noire is always entertaining, but more importantly, it is an opportunity to acknowledge and advance the narrative about the contributions of Black talent in front and behind the camera.
Joe Lipsett | Bloody Disgusting | Rating 4.5/5.0 | Full review
Horror Noire is essential. Each era of film is analyzed with a uniquely personal and perspicacious scope while also reflecting on the historical events and popular crimes which adhered to frustrating stereotypes and invisibility within the genre.
Marisa Mirabal | Slashfilm | Rating 5.0/5.0 | Full review
Never dull, always informative, and expertly crafted, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror is a triumph of masterful execution, engaging storytelling, and brutal honesty.
Jonathan Barkan | Dread Central | Rating 5.0/5.0 | Full review