“Scream VI” isn’t the only meta-horror comedy coming soon to theaters.
With the tongue-in-cheek tagline of “They all can’t die first,” the all-Black ensemble cast of “The Blackening” sets out to survive a surprisingly deadly Juneteenth weekend trip to a cabin in the woods. A twisted killer seemingly unleashed from an ancient board game forces the friend group to play by his rules while they are picked off one by one.
“The Blackening” stars Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg, X Mayo, Dewayne Perkins, Antoinette Robertson, Sinqua Walls, Jay Pharoah, and Yvonne Orji. Tim Story (“Ride Along,” “Barbershop”) directs the dark comedy slasher from a screenplay by “Girls Trip” scribe Tracy Oliver and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” writer Dewayne Perkins. The film is based on a 3-PEAT Comedy’s 2018 Comedy Central digital short of the same name.
Per an official synopsis, the film skewers genre tropes and poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?
“The Blackening” is presented by Lionsgate and MRC, as a Story Company / Tracy Yvonne / Artists First / Catchlight Studios production. Producers include Oliver, Story, Jason Clark, Marcei A. Brown, E. Brian Dobbins, and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett.
“‘The Blackening’ is the first great horror parody of the post-‘Get Out’ era,” the IndieWire review out of 2022 TIFF reads. “Every slasher movie needs a good villain and here the killer wears a blackface leather mask. It’s on the nose, but this parody has about as much subtext as ‘Scary Movie’ and that’s part of the fun. There is no toning down Blackness or explaining things to white audiences. If you don’t know how to play Spades or what the Black anthem is, ask a friend.”
The review continues, “It interrogates the idea of Blackness, and the stupid attempts made to quantify it. Embracing clichés and stereotypes, and then twisting them, allows the film to examine Blackness: Does being a gay Black man makes you less Black than someone who says the N-word more often? or someone who once belonged in a gang? More importantly, the film specifically examines Blackness through the lens of whiteness, making a white man the enemy and showing how an outside force wreaks havoc among the closed group. The film jokes about Black suffering, but this is far from trauma porn. It’s a truly Black horror comedy.”
“The Blackening” premieres June 16 in theaters.
Check out the trailer below.