Halloween is coming and it’s time to get in a spooky mood. Here is a list of some black horror and thriller films to watch before the season comes to a close. These are in no particular order, so feel free to pick and choose what movie feels right for you.
1. Us (2019)
Us was one of the first horror movies that got me into scary and psychological films. Directed by the fantastic Jordan Peele, Us follows Adelaide played by the amazing Lupita Nyong’o, her husband Gabe played by Winston Duke, and their children after discovering they’re being haunted by their doubles. This movie makes the viewer feel on edge, through twists and turns like no other. This movie will have you theorizing for days after you watch it.
2. Candyman (1992 & 2021)
Want a classic slasher-type movie and a reboot that is also worthy of some praise? Check out both the original Candyman from 1992 and its reboot made in 2021. If you enjoyed Nightmare on Elm Street, you’ll definitely enjoy this film. Follow some unsuspecting victims as they try to escape a crazed supernatural man with a hook for a hand and a mission to kill.
3. Bad Hair (2020)
If you’re looking to support a campy indie horror to put on in the background, try watching Bad Hair. The movie follows a girl named Anna in 1989 who has dreams of rising up in a Black-owned music video TV company. As it gets taken over by higher execs, she feels like she has to conform to what all of the other black women are doing and get a weave. Unbeknownst to her, this hair has some deep and horrifying history.
4. Nope (2022)
Of course, I was going to include another Jordan Peele movie. Why would I not? With the impressive cast of Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, and Steven Yeun, and the amazing story Peele has crafted, this movie is set to be the number-one movie of 2022. If you are into suspense, modern westerns, and alien movies, you are sure to love this one. Even if you aren’t into those things, you will still love it.
5. Blacula (1972)
Yes, this is a real movie, no, I am not joking. You cannot get any more classic than the first-ever depiction of a black vampire on film. A parody of Bram Stoker’s book Dracula originally published in 1897, Blacula is the story of the black vampire’s reawakening in 1970’s Los Angeles. Blacula is on a mission to gain the love of a woman who resembles his dead wife, leaving a trail of victims along the way.
6. Blade (1998)
If you’re not into normal horror films or normal vampires, try watching the Blade trilogy produced by Marvel Comics. This movie follows Blade (played by Wesley Snipes), a half-human half-vampire who wants to avenge the death of his mother by killing all vampires on Earth. This movie is action-packed but still contains that spooky sensation that hits just right during October.
7. Black Box (2020)
If you’re more drawn toward psychological thrillers, this is the movie for you. Without giving too much away, this movie follows a man who decides to go through medical experiments after he loses both his wife and his memory in a car accident. One thing I can guarantee you is that you will never guess the ending.
Honorable mention: Ma (2019)
This movie is not the best and definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously, but I think that’s what makes it so endearing. Ma is not technically a black film, but Octavia Spencer does such a good job in her role of Sue Ann that it might as well be. Sue Ann befriends some local teens in the neighborhood and lets them host parties in her basement as long as they follow her rules. This agreement however takes a turn for the weird and these parties begin to become their worst nightmares.
Honorable mention: Queen of the Damned (2002)
One of my all-time favorite films, Queen of the Damned is the perfect rock-and-roll vampire film. This movie feels like Hellbilly Deluxe by Rob Zombie came to life. It has a sensually dark aesthetic like none other. This movie is an honorable mention because although it is not technically a black horror, it stars the late Aaliyah who plays the main antagonist, Queen Akasha. And she does a damn good job at it.