Jordan Peele of Get Out (and the upcoming Us) fame has lent his time to another project that shines a light on the history of black creators and actors in the horror genre, a documentary called Horror Noire. Coming to horror streaming service Shudder on Feb. 7 after a few special screenings in NYC and L.A., the documentary “takes a critical look at a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined and embraced both black filmmakers and black audiences,” according to Entertainment Weekly. The film is based on a book of the same name, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror by Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman.
Joining Peele are a slew of familiar faces from the genre industry, including Tony Todd (Candyman), Ernest Dickerson (Bones), Rusty Cundieff (Tales From the Hood) and Ken Foree, one of the heroes of George A. Romero’s original Dawn of the Dead.
“The horror genre is daring, unflinching pedagogy,” said author Coleman, who also appears in the documentary. “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 is an important and timely documentary that explores an overlooked part of the horror genre that’s only just beginning to get the attention it deserves,” said Shudder general manager Craig Engler. “We’re honored and thrilled to help bring this project to life and share it with the world.”
Clips in the trailer span the entire history of cinema, from the garish face of actor Darby Jones as “Carrefour,” the dreadful zombie in Jacques Tourneur’s 1943 I Walked With a Zombie, right up through Peele’s own Get Out. Check out the full trailer below.