Black directors of horror movies have been putting their own unique twist on the genre for decades. From a blaxploitation take from the 70’s to Jordan Peele’s recent groundbreaking remixes of the genre, check out our list of horror films directed by black men and women.
Gunn directed the 1973 film Ganja & Hess about a young man who is stabbed with an ancient knife who then finds himself with an insatiable desire for blood, mixing black history and black sensuality with it’s horror themes.
Ernest R. Dickerson
Dickerson directed two horror flicks. First he helmed the first Tales from the Crypt film Demon Knight in 1995, a movie about a man being hunted by demon known as the Collector and co-starring Jada Pinkett.
In 2001 he directed Bones starring Snoop Dogg and following the rapper portraying a man named Jimmy Bones who 20 years after his violent murder comes back as a ghost to clean up his neighborhood while seeking revenge on those who killed him.
Peele is a director trying to turn the horror genre on it’s head and his first two films have made an incredible impact. 2017’s Get Out is about a young African-American who visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, psychological and racial horrors ensue as Peele takes viewers one wild ride that ends with Peele himself winning an Oscar.
His follow up was Us in 2019. The fim centers on a family on vacation which turns to chaos when their doppelgängers mysteriously appear and begin to terrorize them broke box office records for a horror film.
Simien created one of the most uniquely black horror tales with his 2020 film Bad Hair. Set in 1989 about an ambitious young woman pressured into getting a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. The twist being that her new hair may have a mind of its own.
Lemmons directed the 1997 gothic horror title Eve’s Bayou. The story about a black affluent family in Louisiana lead by the successful husband, father and womanizer Louis Batiste. But secrets, lies and mystic forces threaten to destroy the family and the community of Eve’s Bayou.
The French-Senegalese creative Diop wrote, produced, and directed the 2019 supernatural romantic drama Atlantics. The film is about a couple who attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in search of a better future. Peril, regret, loss, and love accompany the couple on their journey.
Weeks is the director of the 2020 film His House about a refugee couple making a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, only to find themselves in an English town with its own kind of evil lurking beneath it’s surface.
Cundieff directed the hood horror classic Tales from the Hood in 1995. It’s a collection of four strange horror tales funeral director tells four strange tales of horror to three drug dealers hiding out in his funeral home and is known for having one of the most infamous twist endings in all of black cinema history.
One of The Culture’s most prolific directors, Spike Lee threw his hat into the horror game in 2014 with Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. It’s a remake of Bill Gunn’s Ganja & Hess an tells the same story of vampires, class, race, love, and cruelty.
Crain is the godfather of the black horror genre. In 1972 he directed the first black Horror film, Blacula. The story of an ancient African prince, turned into a vampire by Dracula himself, finds himself in modern Los Angeles is still one of the most famous and influential blaxploitation films ever made.
Burgin is not the director of a black horror film. Instead, he directed a documentary about black horror films. 2019’s Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror is a look at the history of black horror films and the role of African Americans in the genre from the very beginning to today.
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Written by @TalentedMrFord