Shudder has quickly made a name for themselves as the go-to streaming platform to find horror, thrillers, and other genre goodies. They’ve been handling exclusive distribution rights for a few films (like 2018 favorite Revenge) and are starting to produce some of their own original content, including some new and exciting genre documentaries. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, their first official original documentary will be Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.
Based on the acclaimed book – Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to the Present – by Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, Horror Noire takes a critical look at a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and embraced both black filmmakers and black audiences.
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror features interviews with filmmakers Ernest Dickerson (Bones), Rusty Cundieff (Tales from the Hood), Jordan Peele (Get Out), and Tina Mabry (Mississippi Damned); actors Keith David (The Thing), Tony Todd (Candyman), Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), and Paula Jai Parker (Tales from the Hood); and authors Tananarive Due (My Soul to Keep) and Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman.
The documentary is directed by Xavier Burgin, executive produced by Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, author-educator Tananarive Due, Fangoria Editor-in-Chief Phil Nobile Jr, and Kelly Ryan of Stage 3 Productions, and is produced and co-written by Ashlee Blackwell and Danielle Burrows.
After author-educator Tananarive Due saw Jordan Peele’s Get Out, she created a UCLA class around Black Horror called “The Sunken Place” (the class is now available online). In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, she revealed that she had recommended Coleman’s text for the class, so she was thrilled to help bring the story to life:
“Horror Noire is about the history of black horror films, but it’s also a testament to the power of representation and how horror is such a visceral way to fight racial trauma: our real pain and fear, but from a safer distance — while we get stronger.”
Ashlee Blackwell – who serves as a producer and co-writer of the documentary – is also the founder of Graveyard Shift Sisters, a website that celebrates and dedicates itself to the topic of black women in horror. In a statement, she shared her passion for the project:
“There are messages of humanity and survival that Black storytellers and performers have been expressing in horror since the genre’s beginning. It’s been an exciting journey to work with a team to bring this once hidden history to life and out of the shadows.”
You’ll be able to watch Horror Noire on Shudder as of February 7, after special screening events in New York and Los Angeles earlier in the month.