Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Movie Reviews

Reviews of primarily American movies featuring actors and actresses of Black / African-American descent in the horror-movie, slasher, gore, supernatural and related spooky film genres.

Terror Train
While Terror Train has a good reputation among horror fans, until the hectic climactic battle between “final girl” and killer, it’s mostly run-of-the-mill slasher fare that distinguishes itself by A) having Jamie Lee Curtis as the final girl and B) being set on a train. But there’s one other,...
Barbarian
In the late summer of 2022, a movie was released about a young black woman who arrives for a stay at a rental property she reserved, only to discover that it’s been double booked and is currently occupied by a strange white man with unknown intentions. Suspicious, she reluctantly...
The Invitation
Not to be confused with Karyn Kusama’s 2015 “guess who’s culting to dinner” chiller The Invitation, the 2022 The Invitation—which plays more like an aborted Vampire Diaries spin-off—does share some similarities with Kusama’s superior film: both center around a black woman and a white man in an interracial relationship...
Let’s Scare Julie
Watching Let’s Scare Julie made me think about black folks’ frequent complaint about Black History Month being relegated to the short, crappy month that is February. Along those same lines, while it’s nice to watch a horror movie with a black final girl, why does it have to be...
Sissy horror movie
I’ve never really contemplated the existence of black, non-indigenous people in Australia, especially those who didn’t recently emigrate from Africa, but if Sissy is any indication, there are at least two of them. One is Aisha Dee, who stars as the titular Sissy — or Cecilia, as she is...
Beast
In 2012, Liam Neeson made cinematic history by punching wolves in the face in The Grey. A decade later, in Beast, Idris Elba tells Neeson to hold his beer while he cold-cocks a lion. Such is the world in which we live today; everyone’s a showoff. Elba plays Nate Samuels,...
Saloum
While American horror movies from Black creatives have gained a reputation in recent years (thanks in no small part to Jordan Peele) for incorporating racial and social commentary, the same can be said for black horror from around the globe. After all, black folks the world over have plenty...
Scared to Death
Ostensibly a forgettable creature feature, Scared to Death is noteworthy as an egregious case of W.M.H.S. (White Male Hero Syndrome). That’s when an otherwise bland, unlikable, undeserving character is elevated to hero status just because he’s a White man -- sort of like how Rudy Giuliani became "America's Mayor"...
Day Shift
I have selfish reasons for wanting to see Day Shift. Yeah, it’s a movie about a black vampire hunter and all, but it was also filmed in my stomping ground of the San Fernando Valley -- something I became acutely aware of months before its release when production shut...
Nope
*OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING* With the release of Jordan Peele’s eagerly anticipated third film, Nope, it’s fair to say that his filmmaking style has been established. A Peelian movie is horror-skewed genre fare that seeks to entertain but also convey underlying social commentary -- directly or indirectly racial in nature and...