When I first saw the trailer for this film, I knew I wanted to see it. Not only did it look funny, but it also appeared to be using horror tropes in a completely new way. The cast looked terrific as well. During the screening, the entire audience was laughing at the unique way the film skewered the horror tropes creating comedy gold, and the acting by the entire cast was phenomenal. This film gives you one of the best horror comedies of the year.
The Blackening is a horror comedy film directed by Tim Story and written by Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins, which is based on the short film by the comedy troupe. In the film, seven Black friends go away for the weekend to a cabin in the woods, only to find themselves trapped with a killer who has a vendetta. They must pit their street smarts and knowledge of horror movies against the murderer to stay alive. The film stars Grace Byers as Allison, Jermaine Fowler as Clifton, Melvin Gregg as King, X Mayo as Shanika, Dewayne Perkins as Dewayne, Antoinette Robinson as Lisa, Sinqua Walls as Nnamdi, Jay Pharoah as Shawn, Yvonne Orji as Morgan and Diedrich Bader as Officer White.
One of the biggest elements of the film is that the writers ask the sardonic question of what would happen in a horror movie if the group being hunted is all Black and if the first person to be killed is usually the Black person. The film confronts that question head-on, from the game that the group must play having an overt racist face on the box to the questions only a Black person would be able to answer. And it is the comedy and rapport between the characters that quite honestly make this such a brilliant movie. The confrontation with the humor of racism, both overt and ingrained cultural prejudice, is what makes the comedy elements so funny and satirical.
I genuinely was laughing through the entire film along with the audience. The jokes run the gamut, but for most of these, even a White person will grasp the game running on racism, for example. Or a joke about white people being scary, to which the character is asked isn’t your dad white? It is these kinds of jokes that create one of the best comedy horror films I’ve ever watched. This movie merges the two genres together perfectly.
Yet another aspect of the film that I really enjoyed is how well the friends support each other. They aren’t always perfectly together, it is a horror movie, but they work together, they deal with their issues, and they figure out what to do to survive. That makes the film gripping and entertaining because you want all of them to survive. Whether they do or not, I won’t spoil it for you, but the camaraderie is one of the best parts of this movie, both when they get along and when they fight like real friends do.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Spades
Official Website: THE BLACKENING | Official Website | June 16 2023
Instagram: The Blackening (@blackening) • Instagram photos and videos
The Blackening centers around a group of Black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer. Forced to play by his rules, the friends soon realize this ain’t no motherfu**in’ game. Directed by Tim Story (RIDE ALONG, THINK LIKE A MAN, BARBERSHOP) and co-written by Tracy Oliver (GIRLS TRIP, HARLEM) and Dewayne Perkins (THE AMBER RUFFIN SHOW, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE), THE BLACKENING skewers genre tropes and poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?
THE BLACKENING opens exclusively in theaters on June 16, 2023.
ONE-LINER: We Can’t All Die First