That's why it's so important for these projects to go even further in walking-the-talk and green light meaningful (and scary) content that gives women of color room to play the many different characters these stories can offer. Below are some of my favorite picks to star in a horror film because they're pretty superlative at everything else they do.
Kerry Washington, the villain
A teenage single mom, a spy communications manager, an ex-Panthers wife in Philly, a vibrant seductress, timid slave to a high profile D.C. fixer, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Kerry Washington has range. She brings a particular uniqueness to each of her roles that makes them both authentically Kerry, but that doesn't derail from the character she becomes.
But she's never really played an inherently evil character. I think she could pull off being the ultimate antagonist in any horror sub-genre: psychological thriller, slasher, occult, name it, I bet any talented screenwriter could cook up a character where Kerry could easily rival Annie Wilkes or Mary Mason.
Nicki Minaj, the final girl
It appears evident that Minaj is a horror fan. She makes bold attempts at visual art I really don't see a lot of newer rappers doing. Meaning, she's the only one donning a Freddy Krueger glove and doesn't mind a little overt demon possession ambiance. At the very least, she's bound to get horror fans attention.
There being too few Black final girls, I hope that major studios make good use of the capitalist formula by putting rappers in their big screen genre flicks. Yeah, I said it. Grab some of these passionate, versatile female MC's that all the kids are in love with and hand them an axe. I have a lot of confidence in Nicki because she's unafraid of demonstrating her multiplicitous sense of style. In any slasher film, she could lead and triumph over any killer with gusto and believability.
Aisha Tyler, the huntress
Someone so formidable would embody a complicated heroine naturally, waving a path of destruction against demons, vampires, and any varying form of monster. Maybe she'll have superpowers, maybe not, but she would be central with a meaty backstory that everyone can get behind. Aisha's done a huge service to each of her entertainment endeavors. She would be a safe bet for a horror maven.
In the vein of Ash, combined with her animated alter-ego Lana Kane on Archer, in an alternate universe, Tyler could pull off being the face of a long-standing franchise and quickly become a genre favorite! She's already surpassed hero status for many. So raw in her personal expression, I wonder if Aisha's Walking Dead obsession will transition into her personifying a whole, new fictional adventure.
You know you've got your own list. Share some of your favorite Black actresses you'd love to see doing horror projects!