8 Underrated Black Characters You’re Missing Out On

Underrated Black Characters

Well hello there! It’s me, The Horror Oracle. I’m kidding, my name is AshXAshes, creator and co-host of Rise from the Dead Podcast. I’ve always loved discovering deep cuts and recommending them to my friends. So of course the right thing to do was to create a podcast showcasing the many films that people may not know that even existed.

In celebration of Black History Month, I wanted to use my expertise to curate a list of underrated Black characters that you’re missing out on from the various hidden gems that were covered on RFTD and from the films that I’ve watched in my free time. Whether this character survived or met their demise, or even was the villain, you can’t deny that their screen time caught your attention. So let’s see who made it on this special list.

Brian from The Horrible House on the Hill (aka People Toys) (1974)

Played by Tierre Turner

Where You Can Watch: PLEX and VOD

Oh, these tiny terrors were NOT playing around! This film follows five deranged children, accompanied by a mysterious nun who takes refuge in a chalet only to terrorize the three adult couples vacationing there. Though each child in the group had a moment of terror, you couldn’t help but focus on Brian, who presents himself as the leader of the tiny terrors. His strong presence and mastermind execution of some of the kills will shock you.

Alissa from Animal (2014)

Played by Keke Palmer

Where You Can Watch: Prime Video and VOD

Yes, you read that right, our girl, Keke starred in an indie horror movie and also released a song sharing the same title. Before gracing us the character Zayday in Scream Queens and later starring as Kym in Scram: Resurrection, Keke played “Alissa” the girl with the brains who finds herself; along with her friends stranded in the woods and being pursued by a bloodthirsty predator. *Spoiler alert*  Unfortunately, Alissa gets the Jenna(2009’s Friday the 13th) treatment and meets her demise right towards the end. Even though we don’t get the ending we were hoping for, you can’t deny that Keke did the damn thing with this role.

Sara from Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011)

Played by Tenika Davis 

Where You Can Watch: VOD

First off, let me just state that I LOVE this gory little film. As the fourth entry, Bloody Beginnings serves as a prequel to the original Wrong Turn film. When I was putting my list together, I knew that I had to include Sara. Sara, who just happens to be the first Black female character in the franchise, has a brave and bold personality that instantly caught my attention. Within the first few moments of the film, I knew she didn’t mess around. When the Hillicker brothers started chaos, Sara was one of the main characters who stepped up and fought back; just like knocking One Eye’s ass off that snowmobile. Here’s a fun little piece of trivia: Sara is somehow related to Jake Washington from Wrong Turn 2: Dead EndSome sources have confirmed that she might either be his sister or cousin. 

Nicole from Nicole (2019)

Played by Tamika Shannon

Where You Can Watch: Tubi and Prime Video

Just looking at the black-and-white image of Nicole holding an axe tells you that some sh*t is about to go down in the movie. We follow our lead Nicole as she navigates her everyday life while dealing with some trauma. When she goes on a first date gone wrong with an online match, it’s hard to argue the idea that perhaps her date is more disturbed than she is. 

Cym from The Forsaken (2001)

Played by Phina Oruche

Where You Can Watch: Tubi and VOD

“Time to die, cowboy!” If you take the 80’s classics such as Near Dark and The Hitcher and throw in some WB actors, then you have The Forsaken. I sure do love a sexy vampire so of course I had to include Cym on this list. Oruche’s Cym was sexy, badass, and let’s not forget brutal. At one point in the film, our girl goes full-on chaotic taunting her prey and just ripping into them. If you ask me, I wouldn’t be mad if she was the reason for my demise. 

Bobby from The Boy Behind the Door (2020)

Played by Lonnie Chavis

Where You Can Watch: Shudder and VOD

Presented as a “Shudder Original”, I have to say that I’m a bit surprised that this movie hasn’t been talked about. If you’re familiar with Lonnie Chavis on This is Us, then you know that he’s one hell of a child actor. The Boy Behind the Door is an emotional rollercoaster horror/thriller film about two best friends who are kidnapped by child traffickers. For the majority of the film, we follow Bobby as he tries to find a way to rescue his friend after being able to escape himself. Bobby’s bravery and his loyalty to his best friend had me crying and rooting for him.

Panic from Ticks (1993)

Played by Alfonso Ribeiro

Where You Can Watch: Tubi, Pluto TV, Prime Video 

“See, they call me Panic ‘cause I never do.”

Yup, you read that right, Carlton—sorry I mean Alfonso Ribeiro—was in a horror movie alongside Seth Green. Seeing Alfonso acting as a tough guy was something that I was expecting when I hit play. I’m not gonna lie to you, I giggled because I was used to seeing Alfonso as Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  But throughout the film, Panic ended up being my favorite character. Alfonso did a great job bringing humor, and heart to this character.

Jessica from Boy Eats Girl (2005)

Played by Samantha Mumba

Where You Can Watch: Tubi and The Roku Channel

Growing up, I was obsessed with Samantha Mumba! Hell, I still listen to her music today. So when I was a budding horror fan and saw that she was starring in a horror comedy, I just had to find me a copy of this movie. The plot follows Nathan (played by David Leon) who comes back to life as a zombie and of course, all hell breaks loose. Not only does Mumba shine as Jessica; the childhood sweetheart of Nathan but she also earns the title of “Badass” when she steps up and takes out a horde of zombies with a tractor. 

As we celebrate Black History Month, we must recognize the contributions that Black actors and characters bring to the horror genre. Though I’ve only mentioned eight characters, I can assure you that there are many underrated Black characters in horror who deserve some recognition.  



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