Get Out director Jordan Peele is part of a new documentary that investigates how horror storylines have been used as societal commentaries on race issues.
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror explores the work of Black filmmakers and characters in the genre. The 39-year-old star is one of the interviewees in the doc, which is based on a book of the same name and has been executive produced by Horror Noire author Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, Fangoria editor-in-chief Phil Nobile Jr., and UCLA educator Tananarive Due.
In addition to Peele, the project features interviews with directors and cast members from classics like Tales from the Hood and Dawn of the Dead.
Revealing why it was so important to get Peele involved, Due said: “After I saw Oscar winner Jordan’s Get Out, I created a UCLA class around Black horror called ‘The Sunken Place.’ 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.”
Coleman is confident the documentary will educate people on how horror is “like a syllabus of our social, political and racial world” and spark debate around the power of the genre.
The writer said: “The horror genre is daring, unflinching pedagogy. It is like a syllabus of our social, political and racial world. 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.”‘
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror will be available to stream on Shudder from Feb. 7, 2019.
Peele received much critical acclaim for his 2017 film Get Out, which focused on African American character Chris Washington who is targeted by a racist community in a wealthy neighborhood.
He is following that movie up by co-writing and producing the new Candyman film.