The Blackening dares you to kill the Black person first with an all-Black cast.
Lionsgate has finally announced a release date by dropping a trailer (yeah, I know… huge flex) for what has to be the Blackest, most acclaimed (pre-pandemic) Comedy Central sketch since… before 2020? I’m speaking about the Tim Story-directed film, The Blackening. Just to catch us all up, Dewayne Perkins scripted A 3Peat comedy sketch that aired on Comedy Central in 2018 with the tag line “The Black cast member is always the first to die in a horror movie, but what happens when everyone is Black?” It’s a ridiculously popular sketch with witty writing that held no punches and added people to a conversation that’s already going.
The timing is perfect, the performances were immaculate and genuine, and if you know me or someone like me, you’ve been sent it, but just in case here it is.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE BLACKENING
The Blackening takes a look at a mix of the genre with dashes of Saw, Scream, and Cabin in the Woods through the Culture-Color-Commentary lenses of Blackness. It also addresses Black trauma, be it generational or societal, and all without pouring salt in the wound by subjecting us to trauma porn. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022 and easily became the most talked about horror treats of the festival.
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Story directed The Blackening from a screenplay by Tracy Oliver (writing and producing credits include: Little, First Wives Club, Girls Trip, Harlem) and Dewayne Perkins (writing and producing credits include: NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Netflix’s The Break with Michelle Wolf, Peacock’s Saved By The Bell and the Amber Ruffin Show, to which he was nominated for an Emmy).
When asked to breakdown the film Story said:
“a group of Black friends who go away for the weekend only to find themselves trapped in a cabin with a killer who forces them to play a game with life-or-death consequences which makes them realize very quickly that this ain’t no motherf****** game.”Tim Story, at The Toronto Film Festival
If the writers and director didn’t sell you on the movie, the cast should let you know how good it will be. Perkins (The Upshaws) stars in the film alongside Antoinette Robertson (Dear White People), Grace Byers (Harlem), X Mayo (The Farewell), Jermaine Fowler (The Drop), Yvonne Orji (Insecure), Jay Pharoah (Unsane), Sinqua Walls (Shark Night), James Preston Rogers (Pixels), and Melvin Gregg (The Way Back). By the way, FYI Story and Oliver produced the film with Marcei A. Brown, Jason Clark, E. Brian Dobbins, and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett. Perkins co-produced and Vicky Story is the associate producer.
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There is so much Black excellence in this film from its inception as a story to its fruition as a film. Check out the trailer and see for yourself.
The Blackening Official Trailer
The Blackening releases in theaters on June 16, 2023.
About The Blackening
Release Date: June 16, 2023 (USA)
Director: Tim Story
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Based On: The Blackening; by Dewayne Perkins
Produced By: Sharla Sumpter Bridgett; Marcei A. Brown; Jason Clark; E. Brian Dobbins; Tracy Oliver; Tim Story
Cast: Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg, X Mayo, Dewayne Perkins, Antoinette Robertson, Sinqua Walls, with Jay Pharoah, and Yvonne Orji.
The Blackening centers around a group of Black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer. Forced to play by his rules, the friends soon realize this ain’t no motherf****** game. Directed by Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like A Man, Barbershop) and screenplay and screen story by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip, Harlem) & Dewayne Perkins (The Amber Ruffin Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), The Blackening skewers genre tropes and poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?
So what do you think of The Blackening, and what do you think of the trailer? Are you looking forward to seeing the movie in June? How do you celebrate Juneteenth? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.
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