Documentary 'Horror Noire: The History of Black Horror' Coming to Shudder Next Month

The new documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, based on the book of the same name by Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, will be landing on Shudder next month, as announced in a press release. Check out the trailer for the all-new film above before it debuts on February 7th.

horror noire movie poster
(Photo: Shudder)

Per press release, "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. The film features in-depth interviews with noted directors, writers, and actors, including Ernest Dickerson (Bones), Rusty Cundieff (Tales from the Hood), Jordan Peele (Us), Tina Mabry (Mississippi Damned), Tony Todd (Candyman), Paula Jai Parker (Tales from the Hood), Tananarive Due (My Soul to Keep), and Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman. Horror Noire will premiere exclusively on Shudder on Thursday, February 7th, after special screening events in New York and Los Angeles earlier in the month."

“After I saw Oscar winner Jordan Peele’s Get Out, I created a UCLA class around Black Horror called The Sunken Place,” executive producer Tananarive Due shared. “The text I recommended was Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman’s Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to the Present. So I was so thrilled to help bring this story to life on the screen. 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.”

“The horror genre is daring, unflinching pedagogy. It is like a syllabus of our social, political, and racial world,” executive producer Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman explained. “The horror film is fascinating if for no other reason than that it prides itself on snuggling up next to the taboo, while confounding our sense of good and evil, the monstrous and divine, and the sacred and profane. It is one of the most intrepid of entertainment forms in its scrutiny of our humanity and our foibles. It is my sincere hope that Horror Noire will spark fierce debate and trigger even more exacting, nuanced explorations into the power of horror.”

Beginning with the silent film era, Horror Noire explores the often overlooked and downplayed history of Black Americans in Hollywood: the emergence of black leading men in genre cinema in the late ‘60s with Night of the Living Dead and into the ‘70s with Blacula and films of the blaxploitation era; Candyman and the growing popularity of urban horror in the 1990s; up to the genre’s recent resurgence with movies like the Oscar-winning, critical and commercial hit Get Out.

“There are messages of humanity and survival that Black storytellers and performers have been expressing in horror since the genre's beginning,” Ashlee Blackwell, a producer and co-writer of Horror Noire as well as the founder and managing editor of Graveyard Shift Sisters, a website dedicated to the topic of Black women in horror, explained. “It's been an exciting journey to work with a team to bring this once hidden history to life and out of the shadows.”

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Check out the new film when it debuts on Shudder on February 7th.

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