8 Black Horror Movies You Should Watch This Halloween

'Get Out' broke the mold, but these Black horror films set the standard.

Wesley Snipes in Blade

New Line Cinema/courtesy of Everette Collection

There's nothing more fun than being curled up on your couch under a blanket as you hide from the scary scenes of a horror movie. Even though you know what you're watching is not real, the experience of watching horror movies can be a guilty pleasure. 

Jordan Peele's 2017 classic 'Get Out' won him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and spotlighted Black horror movies as an underrated genre. Peele's story highlights Black genius from the screenplay to the lead actor, Daniel Kaluuya

'Get Out' is one film among many Black horror movies that should be on your watchlist. Here are eight others you can watch this Halloween weekend with friends, family, or a partner. Embrace the guilty pleasure of these displays of Black genius. 

Original poster from Night of the Living Dead

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)

A group of seven people is trapped in a farmhouse under attack from the undead. They got to the farmhouse under various circumstances but found themselves facing the same scary situation. 

This movie is a 1968 classic horror film starring Duane Jones as the lead actor, which was groundbreaking at the time. For parents thinking about whether their children can watch this film, it has not been rated

William Marshall as Blacula

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Blacula (1972)

The story follows African prince Mamuwalde who travels to Transylvania to seek the help of Count Dracula in suppressing the slave trade. Dracula refuses and makes a pass at Mamuwalde's wife, which leads to a fight. 

Dracula bites Mamuwalde and curses him with the name "Blacula." He seals the new vampire in a coffin for hundreds of years before being awoken in 1970s L.A. and a whole new world for Mamuwalde. 

The film stars talented actor William Marshall and a later sequel includes the iconic Pam Grier. The movie is special in that Marshall became the first Black vampire to appear on the silver screen with a masterful performance.

The movie falls into the "blaxploitation" genre and is an important part of the Black film canon. There are scenes in the movie that show stereotypical images of Blackness, so adults may want to watch this movie with discretion and a history lesson. The film is rated PG, however. 

Zombies in Sugar Hill

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Sugar Hill (1974)

The horror story follows a grief-stricken widow who seeks the help of a voodoo priestess to avenge the murder of her boyfriend by a mob boss. Diana "Sugar" Hill seeks the help of voodoo queen Mama Maitresse. The voodoo queen raises an army of zombies to go after the people who killed her boyfriend. 

The horror film stars Black actors Marki Bey, and Zara Cully, giving brilliant performances. For parents thinking about whether their children can watch this, the classic horror film is rated PG

Tony Todd as Candyman

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Candyman (1992)

The story follows a college student Helen Lyle researching urban legend folklore and "Candyman," who is the ghost of an African-American artist and son of a slave who was murdered for his relationship with the daughter of a wealthy white man. 

Lyle accidentally summons the murderous spirit at Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project. Lyle and a fellow student Bernadette work together on a thesis that Cabrini-Green residents use Candyman to cope with hardship.

Actors Tony Todd and Vanessa Estelle Williams give great performances as Black leads in the horror film. For parents thinking about whether their children can watch this, the movie is rated R. 

Tales from the Hood Movie Poster

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Tales From the Hood (1995)

The film's format is four short urban-themed horror stories based on problems that affect the Black community. The stories cover police corruption, domestic abuse, racism, and gang violence. The storyline is based on the framework of three drug dealers buying some "found" drugs from an eccentric funeral director.

Some critics have called the Black horror film a precursor to Peel's 2017's Get Out. It was produced by Spike Lee and has a large cast of talented actors. Even in 1995, the movie spoke to the struggles of people of color. For parents thinking about whether their children can watch this, the film is rated R.

Wesley Snipes in Blade

New Line Cinema/courtesy of Everett Collection

Blade (1998)

This classic film is a cross between a superhero and a horror movie starring Wesley Snipes. Blade's mother was beaten while he was in her womb, and Blade was born as a human with vampire strength. The film follows Blade's battle to protect humanity and destroy vampires.

The story is compelling, and despite the movie being released in 1998, it's still a must-watch movie. It's an interesting mix of fantasy and "what-if" science fiction. For parents thinking about whether their children can watch this, the film is rated R.

Thandie Newton, Oprah, and Kimberly Elise in Beloved

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Beloved (1998)

This film is an adaptation of Black author Toni Morrison's award-winning novel of the same name. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, and Thandiwe Newton

Oprah herself tells the story of Sethe, a formerly enslaved woman paid a visit by the spirit of her deceased daughter, Beloved. With the ghostly visit comes memories of violence, trauma, and heartbreak. It's a heartbreaking story in a horror movie. For parents thinking about whether their children can watch this, the film is rated R.

A scene from Alien vs. Predator

20th Century Fox Film Corp/courtesy of Everett Collection

Alien vs. Predator (2004)

This cross between Si-Fi and Horror stars Sanaa Lathan as a Black lead, and she gives an award-winning performance. 

The story is that a Predator ship arrives on Earth and uses a heating device to melt a hole in the Antarctic. A satellite detects the heat bloom beneath, and a wealthy industrialist discovers there is a pyramid buried beneath the ice. He assembles a team of experts to investigate and send them there. The team discovers predators and aliens, and they’re caught in the battle. 

For parents thinking about whether their children can watch this, the movie is rated PG.

These are some great horror movies you should consider watching (or rewatching) this weekend. Take pride in knowing these Black films represent our society and highlight the creativity and genius of Black writers, directors, and actors.

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