See The Blackening in Theaters June 16

If you ever wondered how a horror movie would play out with an all-Black cast, then look no further — from director Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like a Man, Barbershop), comes The Blackening

This new horror-comedy is centered around seven Black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer.

The film stars Dewayne Perkins (“The Upshaws,” “Saved by the Bell”), Grace Byers (“Harlem,” Empire”), Jermaine Fowler (“Coming 2 America,” “Judas and the Black Messiah”), Melvin Gregg (“Snowfall” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”), Jay Pharoah (“SNL., “Resort to Love”), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure.” “Vacation Friends”), X Mayo (“Swarm,” “American Auto”), and Sinqua Walls (“Power,” “American Soul”). 

Perkins (The Amber Ruffin Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), co-wrote the screenplay alongside Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip, Harlem). 

“We can’t all die first,” reads the tagline for The Blackening, responding to the horror genre cliche of killing the black character off first. According to the official synopsis for the film, The Blackening “skewers genre tropes and poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?”

In what plays out like a mix of Jumanji and Saw, this cabin getaway horror-comedy follows the group of friends as their vacation takes a killer turn when they find an ominous-looking board game titled The Blackening. 

They discover one of their friends is kidnapped by a killer and in order to save them and get out alive they are forced to play the game. In a terrifying video, the killer demands that they sacrifice the “blackest” person in order to spare the rest. 

The Blackening is based on a 2018 short film of the same name by the comedy sketch group 3Peat — also starring and written by Dewayne Perkins.  

In an interview with Collider, Perkins said the movie seeks to turn horror genre tropes on its head. 

“The intent was to take tropes and then expand them to force the audience to realize tropes are also human beings.”

– Dewayne Perkins on The Blackening 

My character is a ‘gay best friend,’ which is a trope that is in movies,” Perkins 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.”

The Blackening hits theaters on June 16.