The Blackening (2022)

The Blackening (2022)

R

An intelligent and hilarious horror parody that puts an end to a tired stereotype

7.1

Movie

United States of America
English
Comedy, Horror
2022
TIM STORY
Antoinette Robertson, Dewayne Perkins, Diedrich Bader
97 min

TLDR

Smashing racial horror tropes has never been this funny *and* smart.

What it's about

A group of friends celebrates Juneteenth in an isolated cabin in the woods, but their partying comes to a halt when they discover “The Blackening,” a strange gameboard that threatens to kill them if they don’t play and win.

The take

The tired stereotype is that in horror films, it’s always the Black characters who are the first to die. The Blackening turns that on its head and gives us an interesting premise by asking, what if all the characters are Black? While it’s not the first film to do this (in fact, a lot of Black creatives are reclaiming horror and dominating the genre), it just might be the first to tackle the issue in a smart and funny way. This is a ridiculous parody filled with outsized performances and observational jokes, but it’s equally meta and socially aware as it literally (and thankfully) beats the stereotype to its final death. 

 

What stands out

The one-liner jokes are genuinely hilarious, so much so that I still find myself laughing over them days after first seeing the film. Some of them are cultural, like when the game asks the players in a very heated moment “Name five Black people who starred in Friends,” and one of them quickly replies, “That’s a trick question, right?” But other times it’s just plain funny, like when one character goes through a laundry list of his current miseries and all his friend has to say is “I’m sorry about the Android.”

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