1. Tim Moynihan says:

    Great article. The point about the very real evil in all of us is important. For the most part, I think horror authors and filmmakers just want to tell a scary story without necessarily having it all “mean something.” Stephen King, whose film and novel, “The Stand,” features a black heroine/prophetess (this would have been considered a “Christian novel” had anyone but King written it), always emphasized his desire to tell a story — not to make it meaningful but entertaining. In the 70s and 80s, blacks and whites tended to use racial humor or irony because we didn’t really take ourselves too seriously then and it was funny (remember “Blazing Saddles?”). Making the “black guy” the first one to “get it” was a reflection of the black stereotype of “the fearful negro.” Just as the stalking of middle class white kids is also a stereotype of the “overprivileged white kids we all hated” of that era. In the 70s or 80s, this would have been considered fun (remember that Blaxploitation films, with their “off-the-chart” black stereotypes, were aimed at black audiences!!!). Today, not so much as everyone wants to find “meaning” whenever the issue of race is brought in (virtue-signaling and political correctness are grim taskmasters). George Romero certainly liked to make some social commentary in his films and “Night of the Living Dead” is a good example. His choice of a black protagonist was important. But that was the 60s when such films were being made in every genre. Romero furthered explored the idea of our inability to tell the difference between the monsters and the “normal humans” in his films “The Crazies” and “Dawn of the Dead”, too. “Dawn of the Dead” featured probably the strongest and most memorable black protagonist (Ken Foree) of any horror movie of the 70s or 80s. Anyway, horror is a genre that, when handled well by a Christian writer, can actually introduce people to the spiritual realities of the Biblical worldview. Stephen King once described horror fiction as “conservative as a Republican in a three piece suit” (or something to that effect). While I can’t recommend all his work due to his excessive use of the F-bomb, occasional erotic content, and his negative stereotypes of fundamentalist Christians, especially in his later work, some of his stuff is classic horror that depicts a moral universe that must not be trampled upon. He is no atheist, let’s put it that way, and oftentimes not an agnostic either. But I digress… Thanks for the great read! #beblessed

  2. amandapizzolatto says:

    Getting chills in the last half of that. So spot on!!

  3. Travis Perry says:

    Since I’m more of a Sci Fi fan than horror, perhaps it’s no surprise that Alien is the first horror film with a black character I ever saw.

    The Alien franchise certainly killed off a number of black people–but never the very first!

  4. Get Out is a movie I’m surprised you didn’t mention. It’s a recent movie that I’ve gotten a lot of recommendations for and heard it was really good. (Haven’t actually seen it yet. It’s on my to-watch list.)
    I’ve only gotten into watching horror movies since September, and just watched Night of the Living Dead recently. I thought it was interesting that it was the black guy who was the smart one with good ideas throughout the movie in addition to being the one to survive longest.

What do you think?