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Horror Movies: With Black Characters who Survive the Entire Movie


It's spooky season and as much as we love watching horror movies to get into the Halloween spirit, it can be hard to find movies in the horror/thriller genre with an accurate representation of the Black community. Black characters either die in the first scene or are only on screen for 30 minutes as the sidekick. It's rare to see a Black character as the protagonist of a film.

Here are 10 horror/thriller films with Black actors as the lead role: 

1. Night of The Living Dead (1968)


When the dead comes back to life to feed on human flesh, Ben (Duane Jones) a Black man in rural Pennsylvania, takes the heroic role of defending and protecting a group of people in his house. 

2. The Craft (1996)


Rochelle Zimmerman (Rachel True) is one of four witches in The Craft and a skillful athlete on her school swim team. She is the only African American woman in her neighborhood and school and uses her witchcraft to take revenge on her racist bully. 

3. Candyman (1992)


Candyman (Tony Todd), an urban legend is rumored to be responsible for recent murders in the neighborhood and begins to stalk Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) as she researches superstitions in a housing project in Chicago.

4. The People Under The Stairs (1991)


A young black boy, Fool (Brandon Adams) breaks into the home of his landlords and discovers that the family has been living with sinister secrets.

5. Obsessed (2009)


Sharon (Beyonce Knowles) and Derek (Idris Elba) live a happy life together until Derek's temporary co-worker, Lisa (Ali Larter), comes into the picture. When Lisa starts stalking Derek, Sharon takes the lead in protecting her family and relationship. 

6. The Call (2013)


When a former 911 emergency operator, Jordan (Halle Berry), receives a frantic call from a kidnapped teenage girl (Abigail Breslin), she goes the extra mile to save her from her abductor. 

7.  No Good Deed (2014)


Terry (Taraji P. Henson) is forced to fight for her life when she welcomes a stranger into her house to use her phone.

8. Get Out (2017)


Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his girlfriend Rose's (Allison Williams) family for the first time. All seems well in the beginning but as time passes by, Chris makes disturbing discoveries about the family's intentions with him. 

9. The First Purge (2018)


A low-income community of color becomes the experimental group for the first purge. Community activist, Nya (Lex Scott Davis), and a drug dealer, Dmitri (Y'lan Noel), take the heroic roles in protecting their community. 

10. US (2019)


When Adelaide (Lupita Nyongo) and her family revisit a traumatic memory from her childhood, her worst fears cause her to panic about what may happen next. After a family shows up at their front door and reveal themselves under their masks, Adelaide's fear comes to life. 

Positive representation for the Black community continues to expand over the years and throughout movie genres. Horror and thriller films are slowly attempting to accurately represent communities of color. Black actors, and the Black experience itself are often overlooked and don't receive proper recognition; but with movies like theses Black people have the opportunity to be shown in a different light. It's important that we have films that do not dehumanize Black people by only showing them as villains or monsters or reduce our presence to being nothing but the goofy sidekick who will surely die first. After all, white people aren't the only ones watching horror movies. 

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