Top 10 Black Horror Movies of All Time
Black people take the spotlight within many areas in the film industry, such as action-packed thrillers, with the likes of Dwayne the Rock Johnson saving civilians in San Francisco, China, or the Amazon, from either giant monkeys or the razor-sharp bite of a hungry alligator; hit dramas with romantic encounters between dynamic duos like Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield or Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, and of course comedies.
We can tell a joke at the worst of times or even the best of times and know it’ll get some laughs, so when it comes to poking fun at how ridiculous the ghetto can be on Friday (1995) or how insane things can get on a ride-along in Ride Along (2014), there’ll be some chuckles, tears, and people bringing up old jokes from our movies for years to come.
However, one area in which black people do not get enough credit is horror. We are teased for getting killed off first in every other slasher flick, and there are several parodies showing the many reasons why black people aren’t in more horror films (i.e. we’re too real, and we aren’t doing any investigating in some creepy basement). Nonetheless, even though many of the situations in mainstream horror movies would never happen to black people and even though we keep it real, we do make real good slasher flicks, cult classics, psychological thrillers, and more, so today we’ll be showcasing the best horror movies in the black film noir:
10. Little Monsters (2019)
While there’s no denying the spark that is Lupita Nyong’o as she plays a sweet; yet, fierce teacher in this zombie flick, Little Monsters. This movie takes 10th place, since it’s more goofy than gory. Expect more absurdity than a 2010’s parody and a host of cringe-worthy moments with the likes of Josh Gad’s character taking a bite out of a zombie and Lupita Nyong’o’ and Alexander England’s characters arguing over appropriate behavior while a zombie gnaws on an unassuming civilian nearby.
9. Night of The Living Dead (1968)
Night of The Living Dead is both a cult classic and a pivotal display of how far-reaching racism is, even amidst calamity. Siblings Barbra and Johnny drive to a cemetery in rural Pennsylvania to visit their father’s grave, and while there, they encounter an increasing number of unusual ghouls. They are only saved by a man named Ben; however, as the trio confront more of the monsters and see the devastation the world has come to, Ben remains as the lone survivor, until he is shot dead by a crowd of white survivors, mistaking him for a monster, himself.
8. The People Under The Stairs (1991)
Expect the unexpected, when you first watch Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs. While the film sometimes comes to a stuttering halt with its off-beat comedy, it does take audiences on a whirlwind of a ride, with its nuanced social commentary on class exploitation that comes to a revolutionary and inspiring end with wealth distribution.
7. Candyman (1992)
Candyman twists the horrors of racism and police brutality into a mysterious tale full of bees and beatings when an urban legend of a hook-handed, disfigured man (Tony Todd) becomes all too real for Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), a graduate student researching myths. The film, while a beautifully horrific tale with a critical message, sometimes gets lost in its overrated, gory jump-scares.
6. Candyman (2021)
Within the sequel to the beloved 1992 psychological thriller, the Candyman finally returns four decades later to terrorize more who dare say his name five times in a mirror. However, the neighborhood that was once Chicago’s slums, Cabrini-Green, has been gentrified and inhabited by up-and-coming millennials.
Unlike most sequels, Candyman artfully captures and amplifies the political ideas of racial trauma from the original, while also charting its path through a narrative of self-reflection and fear of oneself, by projecting the monster inward.
5. Attack The Block (2011)
Coming at number five on this list is Attack The Block. This movie brings a refreshing and comedic take on both coming-of-age films and alien invasion stories when a group of South London teenagers defends their neighborhood against unknown, glowing creatures. Despite its paltry budget of 8 million GBP (equaling 10.9 million USD), the spunky young actors, led by an 18-year-old John Boyega, make this fast-paced film worthy of an overpriced movie ticket.
4. Beloved (1998)
In Toni Morrison’s magisterial novel-turned-film, Oprah arrests audiences with her gratifying acting chops, as she plays Sethe, a mother of three haunted by the actions she took to overcome her bondage while enslaved. As a result, her house becomes haunted, and she’s left with only her daughter (Kimberly Elise) for the next 10 years until a strange and terrifying woman named Beloved enters their lives.
Despite its 3 hour runtime, this film hits the ground running and never stops, with its uncompromising lens on slavery and portrayal of an individual’s unrelenting shame.
3. Us (2019)
Jordan Peele’s second horror film does not disappoint with its inversion of the home-invasion trope. While on vacation Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o), along with her husband, son, and daughter, returns to the beachfront home she grew up in, only to be later found by four attackers that are revealed to be her family’s doppelgängers.
Peele weaves various metaphors and motifs alluding to the mole people, asymmetrical wealth distribution, and food sovereignty within his sophomore hit; however, his voice often gets lost under his countless ideas.
2. Blade (1998)
Unlike today’s sparkling vampires, Blade hits hard with its unrelenting action and macabre martial arts. Wesley Snipes plays Blade, a half-mortal half-immortal vampire set out on vengeance for the vampires that murdered his mother. However, the same vampires he’s going after are also the ones in search of his blood type to summon a god that would wipe out the human race.
The blade comes close to taking the number one spot with its grotesque special effects and cynical humor; however, it can’t quite be the best horror movie, since its scares are more action-packed than wholly terrifying.
1. Get Out (2017)
This win comes as a surprise to no one, but it’s a win, nonetheless. Get Out, while being a 21st-century film, is seminal in its role of changing the genre of horror into a display that reflects horror in what we have become desensitized to: the mundane and the corrupt, prejudicial acts of everyday life.