(NEWS4USONLINE) – If you go to see one movie this summer make sure to put “The Blackening” at the top of your list. It’s finally good to see a film version of The Cookout. I have never seen anything quite like it. I haven’t laughed this hard and this much in I don’t know when.
“The Blackening” is an instant cult classic much in the way that “Friday” became. It’s somewhat a cross-blend of “Get Out” and “House Party” times “Scary Movie” if that makes sense. What makes sense is that this Black horror comedy is the best thing going for the summer. And it’s right on time.
We’ve all seen our share of horror films. And comedy movies lately have been hitting the blah department. But a Black horror comedy? Well, that’s interesting. But it works so well that once you’ve seen the film, you’ll leave the movie theater wanting to see “The Blackening” all over again.
And again. Yes, it’s that funny. And it’s that good of a film.
“The Blackening” is definitely a film about culture. But it is also a movie where everyone is invited to the party. The gist of “The Blackening” is about a group of Black friends getting together for a weekend of Juneteenth celebration and winds up with the former college buddies trying to escape from a maddening killer in their midst seeking to take them out one by one.
During this morbid plot of murder and mayhem comes a whole bunch of takes on Black culture. “The Blackening ” takes a satirical and very humorous look at what it means to be Black without trying too hard or forcing the issue. “The Blackening” is so damn funny that you’ll simply be doubled over in laughter during most of the one hour and 36 minutes the film occupies.
One of the best aspects of “The Blackening,” is that it is one of those films that clearly embraces the concept of moviegoers talking back to the screen. There was a lot of that going on at the Harkins Theatres Cerritos 16 hub I had the privilege of watching the movie.
As the movie moves along, as an audience member taking in the film you start finding yourself talking to the screen, telling the characters to close a door or not to go into a spooky room where you know full well there is something sinister lurking. This is what makes “The Blackening” fun to watch.
Perhaps the best aspect of “The Blackening” is that it plays off of Black culture in the sense that it functions under the guise of how Black people think when it comes to horror films, cultural habits and jargon. Black people have a different kind of code on how we move and operate. “The Blackening” burrows that bit of culture (a whole bunch of it) to make the film work the way that director Tim Story wants.
There was a lot of interaction with the audience but in a really good way. My moviegoing experience in seeing “The Blackening” was pleasurable. It was festive and had a lot of good vibes all around. Let’s get back to the movie itself.
What makes “The Blackening” work so marvelously is the undeniable chemistry of the cast. The delivery of movie one-liners and the impeccable timing of the characters playing off one another is something that jumps off the screen.
Dewayne Perkins (Dewayne), Antoinette Robertson (Lisa), Melvin Gregg (King), Sinqua Walls (Nnamdi), Grace Byers (Allison), X Mayo (Shanika), and Jermaine Fowler (Clifton) are the talented players that make “The Blackening” a once-in-a-generation film. It’s hard to mix humor with terror and then make it all work together.
Story and his rich cast give a perfect illustration of how to bring it to fruition. And in case you’re wondering, Story, who has worked as a director on hugely successful projects such as “Barbershop,” “Think Like a Man,” “Ride Along,” “Fantastic Four,” and “Shaft,” is Black. That may or may not have to do with anything, but it sure helps in the film’s storytelling.
“The Blackening” is told from a Black perspective without overwhelming you or browbeating you over the head about race.” The Blackening” deals with race matter-of-factly. It does not shy away from it. Remember, these friends are living life through the prism of everyday Black folks. Now this is keeping it real. “The Blackening” is worth a couple of trips to the movies.
Top Photo Caption:
Antoinette Robertson as Lisa and Sinqua Walls as Nnamdi in The Blackening. Photo Credit: Glen Wilson