‘Get Out’ director Jordan Peele is part of new documentary ‘Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror’ which 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.
As well as Peele, the project features interviews with directors and cast members from classics like ‘Tales from the Hood’ and ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and investigates how horror storylines have been used to as societal commentaries on race issues.
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 February 7.
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 neighbourhood.
He is following that movie up by co-writing and producing the new ‘Candyman’ film.
The 1992 original was, like ‘Get Out’, centered around an African/America character – the murderous Candyman played by Tony Todd – and Peele admits the movie had a huge impact on him when he was younger, especially as Todd also starred in Tom Savini’s 1990 remake of George A. Romero’s zombie classic ‘Night of the Living Dead’.
He said: "The original was a landmark film for black representation in the horror genre. Alongside ‘Night of the Living Dead’, ‘Candyman’ was a major inspiration for me as a filmmaker. We are honored to bring the next chapter in the Candyman canon to life and eager to provide new audiences with an entry point to Clive Barker’s legend."
The first film in the franchise was inspired by legendary horror author Clive Barker’s short story ‘The Forbidden’.