Survivors: Black Men in Horror Films
Since it’s Halloween, many of us Nerds have horror movies on the brain, especially me.
I fondly remember being about 8-years-old and watching horror classics like The Exorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Despite countless nightmares and near bed-wetting experiences, I continued to want to be scared because I fell in love with the genre. There was such diversity in the types of horror films I could watch, from ghost stories like Poltergeist and psychological thrillers like The Shining, to slasher flicks like A Nightmare on Elm Street and vampire-themed classics like The Lost Boys. My favorite films were B-movie cult classics like The Evil Dead trilogy, which combined comedy, zombies, and the supernatural all into one. But scary sci-fi gore fests like Alien weren’t too far behind either.
Although there was much diversity in the types of horror films that I watched, there wasn’t a lot of diversity in the cast of characters that populated these films. All of the movies mentioned above feature a cast of mainly white characters and families. As a half-Korean fan of horror, I always longed to see more characters of color play significant roles in American horror movies. Of course there are plenty of Asian horror films, but I honestly can’t remember any Asian characters in mainstream American horror films of the last three decades — which is why we love Steve Yeun so much around NOC HQ.
And while you might find the occasional black character attending camp or staying in a cabin in the woods, black men were usually the first to get sliced, diced, or axed in a slasher flick, as evidenced by Bao‘s “Not Gonna Make It” collection, posted yesterday.