Juneteenth is a national holiday set aside to honor the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. In the blackening a bunch of, well, Black friends rent a secluded cabin for the weekend to celebrate. Almost everything goes well until they come across a game of Blackface “Sambo”.
He’s creepy to look at, with his offensively bright red lips, and equally terrifying to listen to. “He plays or dies,” he insists. The game includes a series of witty yet challenging questions about black culture that set up the film. What if the entire cast is black? Who, then, dies first? In terms of “awakening” and insight into black history and popular culture, the game requires this to be the person that she is.”the blackest.” With universal charm and relatable humour, the blackening is an uproarious, politically incorrect salute to friendship within black culture and a warm awakening within the horror genre.
in the vein of Scary Movie and a haunted house franchises, The Blackening, written by Dewayne Perkins (The Amber Ruffin Show), who also co-produced and co-starred, along with Tracy Olivergirls trip), is destined to be an immediate cultural classic and a fan favorite for movie nights (especially for an often under-marketed demographic) both in the theater and when it makes its eventual broadcast debut. The script is too clever and the acting too funny for viewers to be satisfied with a single viewing. What’s more, the experience is too much fun to do alone.
A must-see for age-appropriate groups of friends or families, this is the long-awaited and welcome anti-cliché for blacks in horror movies that we didn’t realize how much we needed. He is also the anti-stereotype of black characters in general. Although it’s a satirical comedy, these characters and their relationships with each other have real depth, and it’s energizing to watch.
In addition to Perkins, the blackeningThe incredibly effective and well-assembled cast of ‘s includes Jermaine Fowler (weathering) as Clifton, Sinqua Walls (white men can’t jump 2023) as Nnamdi, Antoinette Robertson (dear white people) as Lisa, Melvin Gregg as Rey (party in the House, 2023), Grace Byers (Harlem) as Allison, and X May (Swarm) as Shanika.
jay pharaoh (resource to love) plays Shawn and Yvonne Orji (Insecure) plays his girlfriend Morgan. Together, they are responsible for organizing the entire getaway and definitely leave a distinct and appreciated impression on the movie as they are likely to be a big draw for moviegoers. However, his screen presence is frustratingly short-lived and underutilized.
Amongst the group of flawed but fantastic friends, viewers will easily identify with someone from the cast and find others they are familiar with within their own friend groups. It’s easy to embrace and root for all the characters, and hope that none of them die —as there isn’t a weak performance or unlikable character in this group of very talented comedic actors. The chemistry is perfect, the timing is so perfect it feels like the entire movie is happening in real time, and the writing allows each character to be empathetic and a joy to watch.
There’s the hot guy/the gamer and his ex-girlfriend/the lawyer, who deserves so much more than he does but can’t seem to get it; his hilarious gay best friend who tells it like it is and leaves nothing unsaid; the genuine self-aware friend determined to make things right; around her and always with her no matter what he she is funny girl; the stubborn one who always feels the need to defend herself; and the nerd who was misunderstood back then feels underappreciated now and is definitely fed up with it.
Packed with witty dialogue that makes you want to immediately rewind and listen to the lines again and enough subtext to satisfy much of the backstory without telling it outright, the talented cast is able to shine cohesively thanks to a very well written script.
It feels almost unfair to specify a standout performance as each actor surprisingly brings something meaningful and memorable to this hilarious film. And yet, I would be remiss not to mention the genius of Dewayne Perkins in this regard. His 2018 viral comedy sketch on Comedy Central with the comedy group 3Peat, aka “The Blackening,” is what started it all and inspired screenwriter Tracy Oliver to approach and spearhead the development of a feature. She is the visionary writer, co-producer, and delivers some of the funniest lines in the film. Whether we isolate him on purpose or not, Perkin’s light shines so brightly that recognition of him is undeniable.
the blackening it’s an aesthetically polished and pleasing cinematic experience. It also places a deliberate and unwavering emphasis on what it means to be black. You have to be Black to enjoy it? Of course not. If you’re one of those easily offended by cultural details that can trigger a sense of unrelatedness, this might be a movie to skip and allow the rest of the audience to let loose and laugh without reservation.
Although it stands out as a horror comedy, the horror in the blackening It’s always fun and never scary. Moviegoers need to be prepared in advance for the sake of the expectation that the movie has the trappings of horror but isn’t scary, which is definitely fine in this treatment of a movie since it’s not really the intention.
In addition to the aforementioned disappointment with minimal screen time for the most sought-after Pharaoh and Orji, another minor type of Hey One thing to note about this otherwise delicious film is the heavy and somewhat over-the-top normalization of drug use. This whole group of friends is just too awesome to have to rely so blatantly on drugs for fun. This movie has no responsibility to teach a moral lesson, obviously, but with the odds favoring a young and impressionable audience, it would have been nice to skip some of the spotlights on getting high. However, it is a must-see and must-see movie. again a movie too.
From MRC, The Story Company, Tracy Yvonne Productions, Artists First, and Catchlight Studios, Lionsgate will release the blackening in theaters nationwide on Friday, June 16.