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It’s a familiar scenario: a group of friends head up to a cabin in the woods for a relaxing weekend, only to find themselves being picked off by a murderous intruder. In “The Blackening,” though, the main characters are well-aware of horror-movie tropes — and determined not to fall into them.
“The Blackening” follows a group of Black friends on a getaway in celebration of Juneteenth. But when they find themselves trapped with a killer, a lot of comedy and gore ensue. Based on a 2018 short film of the same name by comedy sketch group 3Peat, the movie seems hell-bent on slaughtering the most tired horror-movie clichés.
In 2022, Dewayne Perkins — who wrote and starred in the short film that the movie is based on and also wrote and stars in the full-length film — elaborated on the premise in an interview with Collider. “The intent was to take tropes and then expand them to force the audience to realize tropes are also human beings. My character is a ‘gay best friend,’ which is a trope that is in movies,” he said. “Usually, [gay best friends are] regulated to the side to be a person who gives humor, or they are part of a joke. So being able to take these tropes and find exactly what makes them complex, what gives them depth, and then forcing that in the movie so that when you start watching it, you see what has been in horror movies before and then the goal of the movie is to constantly break down your assumptions of these characters by constantly forcing depth.”
Here’s everything we know about “The Blackening.”
“The Blackening” Cast
“The Blackening” stars Perkins, Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg, X Mayo, Antoinette Robertson, and Sinqua Walls, with Jay Pharoah and Yvonne Orji.
“The Blackening” Plot
“The Blackening” follows a group of seven friends who celebrate Juneteenth with a trip to a remote cabin. Soon, though, one of their friends is kidnapped by a killer. In a terrifying video, the killer demands that — in keeping with the offensive and cliché horror-movie trope that often sees the Black character die first — the group sacrifice the Blackest one among them in order to save the rest.
“The Blackening” Release Date
“The Blackening” hits theaters on June 16.