Up until the last few years, black people have played fairly minor, and heavily stereotypical roles in horror movies, but there have been several cult horror hits within the black community over the last few decades. With the emergence of black directors like Jordan Peele and Nia DaCosta, there are now several movies that give black characters the depth and dimension they deserve. Here are just a few of the black horror classics that the community has celebrated over the years.
Starring Tony Todd, the Candyman series is arguably the first mainstream horror film with a black man in a feature role. While it does not have an all-black cast, the Candyman lore is racially charged and has an all-too-realistic origin — a black man who was tortured to death as punishment for getting involved with a white woman.
Tales from the Hood (1995)
Executive-produced by Spike Lee, Tales from the Hood (and its subsequent sequels) feature horror stories based on issues that the black community faces, like racism, gang violence, and police corruption with a comedy-horror slant. The cast includes favorites like Clarence Williams III, David Alan Grier, and Joe Torry.
Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
Its star-studded cast makes Vampire in Brooklyn an immediate favorite. Eddie Murphy plays several roles, including a vampire with his heart set on a mortal detective, played by Angela Bassett. The film follows Max’s (Murphy) quest to turn Rita (Bassett) into a vampire to spend eternity with him, which she ultimately rejects.
Get Out (2017)
Get Out is a modern bodysnatcher film with a racial slant, starring Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. Jordan Peele’s first project as a filmmaker was a huge success that arguably changed black horror history. Get Out won massive critical acclaim, making Peele the first black winner of the Best Original Screenplay award at the 2018 Oscars.
Bad Hair (2020)
The plot of Bad Hair puts a horrific spin on an experience that is so widely shared by so much of the black community. The film centers around a young black woman, Anna, who is left with a scar on the back of her head after a failed childhood attempt at chemically relaxing her hair. Anna is trying to build a successful career in the entertainment industry, and when her boss suggests she get a weave in order to better fit the look of their company, she obliges. Her success grows, but things take a turn when bad things begin to happen and she discovers that the weave is possessed.
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