Looking for a horror movie to watch this upcoming All Hallow’s Eve but not quite sure where to begin? Have no fear…well, at least not over what film to watch.
Frightened black girlfriends watching horror together at home, eating popcorn. Scared african american women sitting on sofa, hiding behind pillow and covering mouth with palm, watching movie
We’ve got you covered with 25 of the creepiest and freakiest Halloween flicks featuring Black casts and creators. From box-office blockbusters to lesser-known indies, from older scary classics to modern Horror Noire, there is sure to be something to satiate your search for spooks and scares in at least one of the movies on our list of screamers.
Check out the list below…if you dare!
Starring Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Coountry, Loki) and Sope Dirisu (His Dark Materials), this story follows the struggles of a South Sudanese refugee couple, working to adjust to their new life in a small English town after surviving the very real horrors of genocide and a harrowing raft escape from Africa to Europe. As they try to adjust to a new and different culture, they become tortured by a supernatural force that seems to have followed them from their home country. While still deciphering if it’s better to assimilate or hold on to their own traditions and practices, they must face the tough truths of their past before the evil in their home consumes them both.
The People Under the Stairs
This 1991 classic, starring Brandon Quintin Adams and Ving Rhames, is part suspense thriller, part horror-comedy, part satire on the effects of gentrification on disenfranchised Black & brown neighborhoods, and all fun. What starts out as a simple home invasion takes a horrific turn for 12-year-old “Fool” and his adult accomplices, attempting to rob the super-rich and eccentric landlords that are evicting their entire Los Angeles project apartment complex. Once inside, they find it hard to get back out and end up make some chilling discoveries about who exactly owns “the hood” while fighting to escape.
Tony Todd brought us the original boogeyman for Black Millenials in this 1992 horror slasher. In it, a tortured spirit, killed in a lynching in the late 1800’s, is rumored to stalk the grounds of Chicago’s Cabrini Green projects. He’s believed to be an urban legend until grad student Helen Lyle begins investigating the origins of his story and the unsolved crimes attached to his name for her thesis. The closer she gets to the truth of Candyman, gruesome murders begin to happen all around her, and she’s left to decipher between what’s real, what’s in her mind, and who’s ultimately responsible.
Polygram Filmed Entertainment
This semi-reboot sequel to 1992’s original tale delves deeper into the generational fallout of slavery, racism, gentrification, and the urban lore born from them. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonna Parris give expert performances in director Nia DaCosta’s chilling tale that re-centers Candyman‘s focus to the Black experience in a creative yet heart-wrenching way.
Def By Temptation
This often-overlooked 1990 horror gem starring Kadeeem Hardison, Cynthia Bond, James Bond III, Bill Nunn, and Samuel L. Jackson is half cheesy gore half cautionary tale about promiscuity and unprotected sex – a big fear point in the late 80’s and early 90’s. A disillusioned young minister (Bond) moves to New York to reconnect with his childhood best friend (Hardison), who has long left that church stuff behind to chase bright lights and enjoy the big city life. While trolling the local bars, the two encounter a tempting young beauty who seems like the perfect woman…but they soon discover she has an insatiable appetite for men and harbors a dark and evil secret.
The Alchemist Cookbook
Mental illness, blind determination, and dark magic converge in this 2016 indie flick. Reclusive loner Sean (Ty Hickson) retreats to a trailer in the woods with his beloved cat Kaspar and spends his days in solitude experimenting with various chemical and substance combinations in an effort to create gold from scratch, based on instructions from an old alchemy book. His street-wise cousin Cortez, who pops by occasionally to bring him supplies (and his much-needed psych medication) is his only connection to the outside world. When Cortez forgets Sean’s medicine one pivotal visit, Sean begins to look into alternative methods to create his gold and ends up surrendering himself to dark forces to serve that end. Delusion gradually becomes indistinguishable from reality to horrific results in this gritty slow-burn horror.
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight
Jada Pinkett-Smith is our horror heroine in this 1995 flick, as an ex-con trying to get her life on track. After becoming barricaded in her remote boarding house with fellow drifters, she’s inadvertently and unwillingly appointed the protector of an ancient relic and must work to keep it out of the hands of a demon known as The Collector.
Night of the Living Dead
Duane Jones played a pivotal (and at the time, controversial) role in George A. Romero’s 1968 genre-defining classic. Heralded by many as the original zombie film, with its effect on media still felt to this day, this one follows Ben (Jones) as the resourceful and brave leader of a group of white survivors of an inexplicable mass murder occurring up and down the east coast, committed by a group of cannibalistic, reanimated corpses. Social commentary permeates the film’s entirety, but it’s the movie’s final moments that subtly reveal how a Black man is seen in America, despite the content of his character.
Ganja & Hess
This historic 1973 gem wasn’t available to the public in its true form for decades, held at the Museum of Modern Art for safekeeping. But, a 2018 remaster and rerelease let modern audiences get a true glimpse this ambiguous experimental horror romance, the first-ever production to feature a Black cinematographer, alongside a largely black crew and an all-Black principal cast. Director Bill Gunn was pinpointed by production to create a Blaxploitation vampire flick, but instead delivered this surreal, artfully shot depiction of a wealthy and respected anthropologist accidentally cursed by an ancient African tribal artifact with an addiction to blood. One of the first films to feature educated, affluent African-Americans, it finds Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones, of Night of the Living Dead fame) falling in love with his deceased assistant’s wife Ganja Meda (Marlene Clark) and deciding to marry and curse her as well. The two must learn to live with the incessant thirst and mounting guilt that comes with their newfound immortality together.
Perhaps the most popular film on this list, this 2017 horror became a near-instant classic for its unique spin on a common horror trope. Daniel Kaluuya became a bonafide star after appearing as Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s groundbreaking production, examining the true horrors of microaggressions and racial other-ism that Black Americans experience every day…but dialed up to 11, of course. Even if you’ve seen this one 10 or more times, there’s something new to be picked up from Peele’s sophisticated and layered look at the Black experience told through the lens of a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner-style weekend with Chris’s white girlfriend’s family.
Another Jordan Peele production and the second blockbuster horror on the list, this 2019 tale of an invasion of murderous doppelgangers is a subtle examination of the haves and the have nots in the United States. Delving into classism, xenophobia, capitalism, and “keeping up with the Joneses,” the story follows Luptia Nyongo’s Adelaide and her family under brutal attack from their underground-dwelling doubles.
Tales from the Hood
A Halloween favorite, this 1995 horror-comedy stars Clarence Williams III, Lamont Bentley, Rosalind Cash, David Alan Grier, and Paula Jai Parker in some of their most recognizable roles. Follows three drug dealers as they’re regaled with spooky stories (often with a racial twist) by an eccentric funeral director who claims to have a stash of cocaine in his funeral home. The more they hear, the deeper they go into the depths of the mortuary until finally, they learn the true reckoning coming their way.
Queen of the Damned
This 2002 film was the sultriest and (and sadly last) performance by the late Aaliyah in a feature film. The sequel to 1994’s classic Interview with the Vampire, the film finds the vampire Lestat having reinvented himself as a modern rock star. His passionate music awakens Queen Akasha, the matriarch of all vampires, who wants Lestat, and the world, all for herself and will not stop until she claims both as her own.
Vampire in Brooklyn
1995 was a ripe year for Black-cast horror! This horror-comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Angela Bassett finds vampire Maximillian (Murphy), the last of his line of Caribbean bloodsuckers, searching for a soulmate to keep his lineage going in this kitchy cult classic. He believes he may have finally found what he’s looking for in Basset’s Rita Veder, an NYPD detective unaware that she has a vampiric lineage of her own.
Another vampiric horror-comedy on the list, this lesser-known 1986 film stars Grace Jones as vampire-stripper Katrina, who preys on three college students so mesmerized by her artistic erotic dance styles that they come to her club to beg her to dance for a college party to impress a fraternity…to their impending doom.
This 1972 Blaxploitation flick starring William Marshall and Vonetta McGee finds an ancient African prince turned into a vampire and locked in a coffin by Count Dracula when he requests his help in stopping the slave trade. When the coffin is purchased by two interior designers hundreds of years later, Blacula finds himself in early 70’s “modern-day” L.A. Finally able to quench his centuries of thirst, Blacula leaves a trail of bodies and new vampires in his wake before finding a woman he believes to be a reincarnation of his long-dead love.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios Inc.
Scream, Blacula, Scream
This 1973 sequel finds the deceased Blacula reincarnated by voodoo magick. Starring William Marshall and the queen of Blaxploitation herself Pam Grier, this rehash finds the African vampire prince’s blood rampage recharged for round two. Greir’s character Lisa tries her best to renew the vamp’s human nature before the pile of bodies grows too high.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Bringing things back to the modern-day, this 2019 horror finds Kiersey Clemons (Dope, Justice League, Antebellum) fighting for survival after a brutal storm finds her washed up on a mysterious deserted island. An inexplicable whirlpool, a horrifying sea monster, disappearing bodies and reappearing friends plague Clemons’ Jennifer until she can solve the mystery of the island, and survive.
This 2017 film finds Milo (Eric Ruffin), a troubled teen fascinated with vampire lore forming a bond with an equally aliented and abused girl named Sophie (Chloe Levine). As their bond intensifies, so does Milo’s fixation on blood and vampirism, until soon his dark obsession begins to blur the line between his personal vampire fantasy and their harsh, neglected, and now bloody reality.
The Girl with All the Gifts
13-year-old Sennia Nanua stuns in this futuristic take on the zombie genre. This 2017 film (now, eerily) thrusts us into a world where the entire world has been ravaged by a disease transmitted through bodily fluids, turning them into flesh-hungry zombies. The next stage of humanity seems to lie with a small group of imprisoned second-generation born children who are immune to infection, yet crave living flesh, while retaining the ability to think and learn. When the facility in which they are experimented on get overrun, Melanie (Nanua) must lead a group of soldiers to hope and mankind’s survival.
The First Purge
This dystopian action horror thriller hits a little too close to reality at times with its themes of disenfranchisement of ethnic neighborhoods, mobilization to fight back, and media and government steering narratives of violence among Black and Brown communities. But Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, and Y’lan Noel give engaging performances as subjects of the government’s first experiment with granting one night per year where all crime is legal, choosing their secluded housing project as ground zero.
Another classic and another vampire entry, this 1998 superhero horror-thriller stars Wesley Snipes as the titular vampire hunter. Part-vampire himself, the daywalker stalks the night eradicating vampires after they bit and killed his mother while she was 9-months pregnant with him, while protecting a beautiful recently bitten hematologist.
New Line Cinema
Halle Berry stars in this 2003 psychological horror thriller that follows a psychologist who mysteriously wakes up as a patient in the same psych ward she works in, with her husband brutally murdered and no recollection of how she got there. As she pieces together the blanks of her memory and connects with patients on a level that wasn’t possible before she was in this position, she discovers a dark secret that goes far deeper than any mental issues she may, or may not, possess.
This 2001 ode to Blaxploitation, starring Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier, Michael T. Weiss, Clifton Powell, and Bianca Lawson follows Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg), a respected neighborhood hustler who is killed by his colleagues. He’s inadvertently resurrected 30 years later and seeks revenge on his killers to restore his now-downtrodden neighborhood to the state it was in when he was alive.
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
This 1998 slasher sequel adds an in-her-prime Brandy Norwood to the mix. After becoming the sole survivor final girl amongst her group of friends after their hit-and-run victim picked them off for vengeance years prior, Sidney (Hewitt) takes her new college crew on an all-expenses-paid vacation to The Bahamas, though still suffering from PTSD. Once there, history repeats itself and she, Karla (Brandy), and Karla’s boyfriend Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer) must do their best to survive their “relaxing” retreat.