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‘The Blackening’ Is Hilariously Turning the Tables on Black Horror Tropes

The friends freaking out in The Blackening

It’s not every day that a group of Black friends visit a cabin and face off against a masked killed in a horror movie. The Blackening turns the table in terms of horror expectations, and that’s part of what makes this new movie so exciting.

The Blackening knows its primary audience and fully intends to explore familiar stereotypes. Of course that accuracy is guaranteed to make Black horror fans cackle (I know I will be). So, what else do we know about this upcoming horror comedy? Are there any big names in it? Keep scrolling to find out.

The Blackening plot

“The Blackening centers around a group of Black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer.”

– Lionsgate

Ultimately, the plot is pretty unique and calls back to horror films set in a cabin. But this time around the cast consists of all Black actors!

The Blackening trailer

The trailer for The Blackening kicks off with some meta humor: a tagline that reads “They can’t all die first,” a reference to the tired old horror trope of killing off the Black characters first. Like you might expect, the characters are all pretty dubious about going to a cabin and they’re really not down for the creepy stuff they find there.

The Blackening release date

The Blackening is set to kick off Juneteenth weekend with a June 16 release—an obviously deliberate choice and very clever given the film’s focus.

The Blackening cast

The cast consists of a lot of folks you may or may not have seen or heard of before. Grace Byers, for example, is primarily known for her time on Empire. She’s joined by Jermaine Fowler (Sorry To Bother You), Antoinette Robertson (Netflix’s Dear White People), comedian Dewayne Perkins, Melvin Gregg (Snowfall, High Flying Bird), former SNL star Jay Pharoah, Yvonne Orji (Insecure), and more:

  • X Mayo
  • Sinqua Walls
  • James Preston Rogers

What else do you need to know?

  • The Blackening is based on a 2018 short film of the same name by a comedy troupe called 3Peat.
  • Director Tim Story is primarily known for Barbershop (2002) and Fantastic Four (2005).
  • The film was co-written by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip) and co-star Dewayne Perkins.
  • The Blackening was second runner-up for the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.

(featured image: Lionsgate)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.