The Blackening

June 16, 202350/1005 min
Starring
Antoinette Robertson. Dwayne Perkins. Sinqua Walls, Grace Byers
Written by
Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins
Directed by
Tim Story
Run Time
1h 36min
Release Date
June 16th, 2022
Overall Score
Rating Summary

         Horror films have a lot of tropes and some of them have even become running jokes for the fan base. A few examples that are common, would be, teenagers having sex, as a guaranteed death warrant in most slasher films. Another is the black character being one of the first victims. What if though, to solve the latter, you just made the whole cast black? This is exactly what the filmmakers did with The Blackening, as their tag line states, “ We can’t all die first.”

        A group of friends are getting together for a college reunion and they have chosen a cabin out in the woods to host it (another horror trope). Those friends are played by Yvonne Orji, Melvin Gregg, Jay Pharoah, Grace Byers, Sinqua Walls, Dewayne Perkins, X Mayo, and Antoinette Robertson. The Cabin is your basic cabin, but while searching the rooms they come across a game called The Blackening , a rather racist looking game that beckons them to play. The quickly find out  that the stakes are pretty high, and they must answer a number of questions correctly in order for their friend to survive.  Those questions are meant to test their “blankness”  and a wrong answer will test their survival skills, as a masked man and his crossbow will threaten them. This was not the college reunion that they planned, and this is one game not all of them will survive.

Written by Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins, The Blackening  follows in the footsteps of Scream and Scary Movie , by turning the rules and the tropes on their head of your typical slasher movie. The results are a pretty funny movie that is also a decent horror film with some not too bad kills. It is at its best when the friends are together, as they play off each other perfectly and the comedy is for sure the strongest trait of the movie. There is no doubt that the film has an audience in mind for it, but I can tell you that you don’t need to be in that target to enjoy. Coming in at a crisp 96 minutes,The Blackening never wears out its welcome, which means you won’t be looking at your watch, hoping it will end soon.

              I for one had a great time with The Blackening, as it keeps you engaged throughout, thanks to the great chemistry of the cast. It also walks the line between comedy and horror pretty well, even if you will laugh a lot more than scream. All of this makes it easier to swallow the predictable story as well as some pretty shallow characters, which is to say the weaker points are pretty minor. I had fun with this one as it definitely hits its intended target all while reminding us that renting a cabin in the woods is never a good idea.

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