Horror Noire (directed by Xavier Burgin) is a phenomenal documentary on the history of Black horror — from the silent film era to the present day, examining the racist underpinnings of early horror and how genre films have evolved over the decades to begin positioning Black characters as heroes.
“We’ve always loved horror. It’s just that horror, unfortunately, hasn’t always loved us,” explains novelist Tananarive Due near the beginning of the doc.
This love for horror is evident throughout the documentary’s thoughtful critiques of the genre presented by filmmakers, writers, actors, and scholars. There’s a feeling of excitement and hope for the future of the genre, as new filmmakers come on the scene with Black protagonists at the forefront.
Horror Noire is available for streaming on the Shudder network, which also features a number of the films discussed, such as Ganja & Hess (1973), The People Under the Stairs (1999), Tales from the Hood (1995), and others.
You can also check out the Horror Noire syllabus over on Graveyard Shift Sisters, for a reference list of movies, nonfiction, fiction, comics, and other works to check out, if you’re interested in Black horror.
This review was originally published at AndreaBlythe.com.