The official teaser for Shudder’s Horror Noire anthology has dropped. The series is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2019 documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. It will feature six stories from both emerging and acclaimed creators, showcasing stories of Black horror from Black directors and screenwriters.
The Best and Brightest
The series released its conceptual teaser during its [email protected] panel, moderated by writer/editor/speaker Ashley C. Ford and featuring some of the anthology’s writers Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, Victor LaValle, and Shernold Edwards. They shared the inspirations behind their stories and explained the challenges in adapting them for the screen. They also discussed why it’s so important for these stories to be told, now more than ever.
The stories in Horror Noire are new, but many of the writers behind them are well established. Due is a published author, scholar, and screenwriter who also produced the Horror Noire documentary. She’s joined by alternate history and science fiction author Barnes (Lion’s Blood), illustrator and graphic novelist Ezra C. Daniels (BTTM FDRS), novelist LaValle (The Ballad of Black Tom, The Changeling), producer Edwards (Sleepy Hollow TV series), and Emmy-winning writer and producer Al Letson.
The Documentary vs. The Anthology
When asked about the difference between the documentary and the anthology series, Due explained:
“[The documentary is] the history of how Blackness has been used in the history of cinema, in horror. So it’s all those tropes: “the first to die”, “the sacrificial Negro”, “the spiritual guide”, you know all these tropes that because we loved horror we would watch it, but we’re wincing when we see Scatman Carruthers get that axe through his chest in The Shining. That wasn’t in the book!
So this series, this new anthology, is looking forward instead of looking backward. […] this is sort of the promise of what happens when you let Black creators have more control, you let Black creators in the room, you let us pitch our stories. It’s not just ‘oh let’s take this white script and put a Black actor in the part. Voila! Black Horror!’ No. Because sometimes that’s highly problematic. You can’t pretend race doesn’t exist. Black horror doesn’t always have to be about race, sometimes it’s just addressing invisibility. […] We love, we hurt, tell our stories too. But sometimes it is racism is the monster. As Black artists, this is just an amazing opportunity for us to show what we’re capable of producing, moving away from the tropes of yesteryear.”
Horror Noire premieres on October 14, 2021, on Shudder as well as via AMC+.
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