5 Black Horror Movies That People Keep Sleeping On

Black horror movies are some of the most consistently disrespected movies in the genre. Critics fail us because the landscape is primarily white and problematic. Box office numbers fail us because white people won’t engage with the art. This is why so many of our movies are dead on arrival. This is also why so many people act as if Jordan Peele is where these stories start. They don’t know that the first all-Black cast in a horror movie was the 1940’s Son of Ingagi. They refuse to check out the hidden gems of the Blaxploitation era. The same people conveniently skipped over every single horror movie made in the 90s that had Black people on the creative team.

If you refuse to engage in Black art, then how can you call yourself a critic? If more horror outlets refuse to hire people that can’t see beyond their own privilege and life experiences, then how do we fix this problem? I’m in no place to fix these problems, but I do want to highlight a few movies that I think don’t get nearly enough respect in the genre.

Blade (1998)

Directed by Stephen Norrington

Stars: Wesley Snipes

Where You Can Watch: Peacock

Description: A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race while slaying evil vampires.

Ratings: IMDb 7.1/10- Rotten Tomatoes 57% – Metacritic 47%

We don’t give Wesley Snipes enough credit for being the first Black leading actor in a Marvel movie. We also don’t talk enough about this being one of the coolest vampires in the history of film. I highly encourage you to check it out, or revisit it, and then scroll Rotten Tomatoes to see what critics said.

Bones (2001)

Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson

Stars: Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier, and Bianca Lawson

Where You Can Watch: Tubi

Description: Over 20 years after his death by a gunshot, Jimmy Bones comes back as a ghost to wreak revenge on those who killed him and to clean up his neighborhood.

Ratings: IMDb 4.3/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 25% – Metacritic 42%

This movie has an incredible cast, Giallo influences, and nods to some of the best Blaxploitation horror movies. However, it somehow bombed even though it was surrounded by questionable early aughts movies that found followings. I sincerely believe this is one of the highlights of Snoop’s ridiculously long resume.

His House (2020)

Directed by Remi Weekes

Stars: Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku

Where You Can Watch: Netflix

His House: Wunmi Mosaku as Rial Majur, Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù as Bol Majur. Cr. Aidan Monaghan/NETFLIX © 2020

Description: A refugee couple makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town that has an evil lurking beneath the surface.

Ratings: IMDb 6.5/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 100% – Metacritic 72%

This movie does well with critics but a lot of horror fans still haven’t seen this Netflix original that popped in October 2020. I’m including this movie as the one to specifically ask the casually obsessed horror person why they haven’t hit play on this movie yet. It’s by far one of the best films in the “haunted” sub-genre. Netflix could’ve marketed it better seeing how it’s the best horror movie they have given us so far. However, seeing it get shut out of the Chainsaw awards last year because the voters “hadn’t gotten around to it” made me feel like my group project failed even though I and my friends did our part. Please fix this by watching this movie ASAP and retroactively giving it the respect it deserves. 

Sugar Hill (1974)

Directed by Paul Maslansky

Stars: Marki Bey and Richard Lawson

Where You Can Watch: VOD

Description: When her boyfriend is murdered by gangsters, Sugar Hill decides not to get mad, but BAD!

Ratings: IMDb 5.8/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 63% – Metacritic N/A

Sugar Hill is my favorite horror movie out of the Blaxploitation era. Marki Bey is the forgotten pioneer of the “good for her” sub-genre and I need people to stop overlooking her. Not only is the character iconic and strong, but she also stands out for being created in an era of film that was particularly disrespectful to Black people and especially women. This movie also sticks out because of the joy our main characters get out of getting even with these villainous fools. 

Tales From the Hood (1995)

Directed by Rusty Cundieff

Stars: Clarence Williams III

Where You Can Watch: Shudder

TALES FROM THE HOOD, Clarence Williams III, 1995. ph: Toni Scott / © Savoy Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Description: A funeral director tells four strange tales of horror with an African American focus to three drug dealers he traps in his place of business.

Ratings: IMDb 6.4/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 52% – Metacritic N/A

People are forever skipping over this movie even though it’s one of the best horror films to come out of the 90s. Not only is it unsettling, but there has never been/never will be a time when it’s not timely. It is the best horror anthology I have ever seen. I also think it’s telling that people love a lot of the anthologies that came after without noting how they borrowed from this film. This should be required viewing for horror critics and fans.

Tell me some of your favorite overlooked iconic Black horror movies at @misssharai!



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