8 Horror Movies Where The Black Guy Doesn’t Die First

I’m one of the many people who get upset when I see tired tropes still being used in the year 2024 of our Lord Denzel Washington. It is no secret that film has a history of ensuring The Black Guy Dies First. However, you would hope with the rise of the internet, more filmmakers would actually hear some of our concerns. We keep telling them this is one of the many tropes we can let die. Sadly, we still have countless unnecessary Black male characters dying on our screens to this day. Excuse me while I look disrespectfully at the recent season finale of Fargo.

Black guys still die often in this beloved genre. Obviously, no production company has actually read the commitment to diversity they had their PR teams write. This is why I decided that instead of doing a listicle of Black final men, I would set my sights on something even rarer. I present a list of genre titles where no Black men die on screen, not even in a post-credits scene. I am happy to share eight times where no Black male characters were harmed in the making of a movie. Let’s go!

Finn Wheeler, Werewolves Within (2021)

Played by Sam Richardson 

Where You Can Watch: AMC+, Hulu, and Shudder

A band of small-town residents are stranded in a snowstorm as the new forest ranger investigates a creature who hunts them at night. We finally see Sam Richardson lead a movie after years of playing supporting characters. He reminds us why he’s one of the funniest people working and proves he is a more than capable leading man. Werewolves Within also expertly dodges all of the Black guy tropes that we’re still seeing recycled for no reason. I wish more filmmakers could do this, but let me commit to one rant per listicle. If you’re a super Blerd like me, you might want to do a double feature with Night of the Living Dead (1968). I sincerely believe that Ben (Duane Jones) and Finn (Richardson) have much in common despite being in different subgenres and their stories having different endings. 

Side note: Director Josh Ruben’s first feature, Scare Me, lives on Shudder if you want another horror comedy where the Black guy lives. The enigmatic Carlo (played by Chris Redd) gets a nice chunk of screen time and should be on your radar. 

Tyler, Child’s Play 3 (1991)

Played by Jeremy Sylvers

Where You Can Watch: VOD

Chucky follows Andy to a military academy, where he continues his quest for revenge. Many fans of the franchise sleep on this movie, but as a Black kid of the ’90s it became one of my favorite sequels. Seeing Tyler run around with Chucky warmed my cold little dead heart. A small part of me continues to hope this character will make another appearance in this franchise someday. I also have to acknowledge that this title might be a cheat because Charles Lee Ray was responsible for so many children’s deaths in this one that I may never know if any of those extras were Black. 

Kincaid, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Played by Ken Sagoes

Where You Can Watch: VOD

Nancy returns as a psychiatrist intent on helping a new group of teens battle Freddy Krueger. That all sounds nice, but one of those teens is played by Ken Sagoes. Not only was Kincaid the first Black guy to survive Petty Freddy, but he also appeared in two movies in this franchise, which is unheard of. While he was one of the first to die in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, I’m trying to look at the positives here. Dream Warriors also did something radical by letting the other Black guy live. You may remember the orderly Max (Larry Fishburne before he started going by Laurence Fishburne) also survived this movie. So, this is definitely a historical entry in this series for a couple of reasons now.

Chad Meeks-Martin, Scream (2022) 

Played by Mason Gooding

Where You Can Watch: Hulu and Paramount+

A new Ghostface surfaces in Woodsboro, with a new group of teens getting caught up in the ongoing saga. We can’t help but love Chad. Not only is he half of our favorite set of horror twins, but he is a genuinely funny character who understands you can’t trust anyone when a Ghostface is afoot. Scream has only ever let one Black guy survive before. Shout out to Joel (Duane Martin) for removing himself from the situation in Scream 2. So, Chad was already joining a small group of Black guy survivors. However, he also gets the rare gift of appearing in two movies in this franchise and avoided the NOES 4 pitfall by surviving both films he has appeared in. Spyglass decided to tank the series last year, so we might never know how long his streak would have lasted. We can still celebrate that he officially took Dewey’s spot as a living and lovable pin cushion in Scream VI, though. 

Ronny, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) 

Played by LL Cool J

Where You Can Watch: MGM+, Paramount+, and Prime Video

Michael Myers travels to California for another battle with Laurie Strode. We love this franchise, but it’s not kind to Black men the few times it even remembers to invite them to the party. So, we all assumed Ronny was toast on sight. However, we didn’t take into consideration that rappers get plot armor. LL Cool J walked so that in Halloween: Resurrection, Busta Rhymes could throw hands at Mikey. Ronny spent most of his time on the phone reading his wife excerpts from the novels he was working on and out of harm’s way. He is one of the few supporting characters Michael Myers ever let live. This movie also allows the other Black guy to live! Detective Fitzsimmons (Beau Billingslea) called the appropriate people to let them know Mr. Myers might be en route and then minded his own business. These two surviving is one of the reasons this installment shines a little brighter than some of the other sequels for me. 

Eddie Baker, House on Haunted Hill (1999)

Played by Taye Diggs

Where You Can Watch: VOD

A billionaire offers people a chance to win $1,000,000 if they can survive the night in a haunted mansion. Eddie was the only Black person in the movie, so his odds for survival looked bleak. It was a surprise to see him make it to the very end, and I believe my gasp was heard around the globe. While we may never know if/how the two survivors ever get down from the perch they found themselves stranded on, he made it. This is extra fun because everyone had a crush on Taye Diggs in the 90s, so most of us only rented it because of him. However, none of us dared to hope he would be a final boy. Again, this was the 90s when Black final boys were even more difficult to come by than they are now.

Gabe Santora, The Faculty (1998)

Played By Usher Raymond

Where You Can Watch: Pluto TV

A high school is overrun with aliens who take over the bodies of the faculty and students. Is this another take of Invasion of The Body Snatchers in a new wig? Yes. Is Gabe only memorable because he was played by Usher? Yeah!  He didn’t get many scenes and was briefly turned into an alien. Before you can call me a cheater, you need to remember the movie undoes all of its damage at the end, so he is very much alive. If you want to argue with someone, talk to Miss Elizabeth Burke (Famke Janssen), whose body and head were left in different parts of the parking lot but somehow magically reassembled. Gabe is the typical jock you wanted to throw hands at, but he is a Black guy that is alive when the credits roll. We must stan.

Farleigh, Saltburn (2023)

Played by Archie Madekwe

Where You Can Watch: Prime Video

An Oxford student is drawn into the world of the wealthy for one unforgettable summer. Farleigh is one of the few people to survive this chaotic ordeal. He might be cut off from the family fortune, and he was wrongfully blamed for the death of a relative, but at least he’s alive. He flew back to America and to safety. I imagine his relationship with money and status, is also different after that deadly summer. I love that for him because not only did a Black person get to live their best life at Saltburn, but he also avoided becoming another casualty in this genre (and in this family). Getting to party like a socialite and then exiting stage left when bodies start dropping is a mood. 

I must also shout out some quality movies that give us Black final men but did not make the list because some other Black male characters died along the way. Having multiple Black people in the same movie is the goal, so it is a much better problem than some titles that will remain nameless. You should check out Vampires vs. the BronxAttack The BlockEvent HorizonHis House, and Get Out.

Can you think of other genre movies where no Black men were harmed in the making of the plot? If so, find me at @misssharai.



Sign up for The Harbinger a Dread Central Newsletter