Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
It's the perfect time to spend some quality time with your family - so settle in with our top streaming recommendations!x
review, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, Horror, Noire:, A, History, of, Black, Horror, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Meosha Bean, Ashlee Blackwell, William Crain, Rusty Cundieff, Keith David, Loretta Devine, Ernest R. Dickerson, Tananarive Due, Ken Foree, Mark H. Harris, Xavier Burgin, Documentary

HORROR NOIRE: A HISTORY OF BLACK HORROR

★★★★

ESSENTIAL FOR GENRE FANS AND FILM BUFFS

FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL AUSTRALIA REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
21st February 2020

Whether they're comedic, pulpy or genuinely terrifying, horror movies have always served as a way to confront societal ills, using monsters and the supernatural to make commentaries on racism, sexism, addiction, and state violence. For that reason, horror has always been one of my favourite genres.

Director Xavier Burgin's meticulously assembled documentary 'Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror' opens up with a shot of a black man walking down the streets of a prominently white neighbourhood, lost and noticeably uncomfortable.

The situation only gets worse when a mysterious car suddenly appears and starts following him. Then, a man attacks him, knocks him out, and puts him in the trunk of his car. It's the opening scene from Jordan Peele's 'Get Out' and a shrewd racial allegory, preying on black people's ingrained fears about being cornered at the wrong time. As an interviewee in Burgin's documentary notes: black history is black horror.

Exploring the role African Americans have played in horror films throughout the history of cinema, Burgin's film looks at black horror dating back to D.W. Griffith's influential yet troubling 'Birth of a Nation', the 1915 film portraying the KKK as heroes ("it's not considered a horror film unless you're a black person").

'HORROR NOIRE: A HISTORY OF BLACK HORROR' TRAILER

From there, the film touches on 1940's 'Son of Ingagi' (a follow-up to a schlocky racist horror film, it became one of the first films to depict the black middle-class, like doctors and lawyers), the rise of negative depictions in 1970s blaxploitation films, the continued marginalisation through the 1980s, and the major steps forward of more leading actors of colour in film through the 1990s into the 2000s. Ending with the trailers for Peele's (at the time) upcoming film 'Us', the documentary ponders where the genre is headed going forward.

'Horror Noire' features a number of filmmakers, actors and film historians, filmed sitting in a cinema as they watch various clips and discuss topics such as the "magical Negro" trope, i.e. a supporting stock character with mystical powers who comes to the aid of white protagonists in a film (see: 'Ghost' and 'Final Destination'). Actors like Tony Todd ('Candyman'), Ken Foree ('Dawn of the Dead'), Keith David ('The Thing', 'They Live'), and Rachel True ('The Craft') talk about the roles they played and the stereotypes they fought against or reinforced. This includes the phenomenon of black actors being the first to die A.K.A. the "sacrificial Negro" trope, as seen in 'Annabelle' and Kubrick's 'The Shining'.

As an interviewee in Burgin's documentary notes: black history is black horror.

In fact, 'Horror Noire' is surprisingly self-critical, with footage of David in 'The Thing' used as an example of "tokens and sidekicks" and 'Candyman' noted for fetishising white women.

Throughout, the topic of representation is paramount, and what these characters meant to their audiences and to Hollywood as a whole. It also looks at the underlying themes of films like 'Candyman' and 'Bones', which addressed serious issues in the black community, with varying levels of success.

A number of films (some from white directors) are singled out for specific praise, like George A. Romero's iconic 'Night of the Living Dead', William Crain's 'Blacula' (the studio originally wanted to call it 'Count Brown is in Town'), Joe Cornish's 'Attack the Block' (which featured John Boyega in the lead role), and Rusty Cundieff's 'Tales from the Hood', an African American horror anthology. Jordan Peele, who appears to be sitting in his living room, discusses how important it was for him to see a young African American playing the hero in Wes Craven's 'The People Under the Stairs'.

There has been a growing interest in black-led horror films since Peele's 'Get Out' shattered both minds and expectations when it hit cinemas in 2017. People are eager to discover the rich history of African American actors, writers and directors who have made innovative contributions to the film canon. Some horror movies are pulpy; some are tongue-in-cheek comedies; some are meditations on societal ills, some are overtly political, and others are about the horrors of the everyday. If you're a fan of the genre or film history, you will be informed and entertained in equal measure by 'Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror'.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 23m
CAST: Meosha Bean
Ashlee Blackwell
William Crain
Rusty Cundieff
Keith David
Loretta Devine
Ernest R. Dickerson
Tananarive Due
Ken Foree
Mark H. Harris
DIRECTOR: Xavier Burgin
WRITERS: Danielle Burrows
Ashlee Blackwell
PRODUCERS: Danielle Burrows
Ashlee Blackwell
SCORE: Timothy Day
HorrorNoire
HorrorNoireFilm
HorrorNoireFilm
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Birds of Prey - I'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
TRENDINGBIRDS OF PREYI'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
Lockdown and Catch Up - The best family films streaming right now
TRENDINGLOCKDOWN AND CATCH UPThe best family films streaming right now
28 Days Later - ...15 years later
TRENDING28 DAYS LATER...15 years later
Vivarium - What makes a house a (horrific) home?
TRENDINGVIVARIUMWhat makes a house a (horrific) home?
The Hunt - Blunt, lazy and undeserving of controversy
TRENDINGTHE HUNTBlunt, lazy and undeserving of controversy
Blue - A thought-provoking underwater journey
TRENDINGBLUEA thought-provoking underwater journey
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
Benjamin - Gay dramedy tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways
TRENDINGBENJAMINGay dramedy tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
The Big Trip - Should have stayed at home
TRENDINGTHE BIG TRIPShould have stayed at home
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
Back of the Net - Misses the net, and then some
TRENDINGBACK OF THE NETMisses the net, and then some
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
Burning Kiss - Baroque, eye-catching Australian neo-noir
TRENDINGBURNING KISSBaroque, eye-catching Australian neo-noir
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
TRENDINGA GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Bangla - A truly beautiful mess
TRENDINGBANGLAA truly beautiful mess
Midsommar - Ari Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
TRENDINGMIDSOMMARAri Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us