Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Black Women Horror Studies: The Conjure Woman Resource Packet

It is no coincidence that her first line, “Y’all haters corny with that illuminati mess,” both doubles as a refutation of the conspiracy theory of her involvement with a secret Satanic society as well as an embrace of an African religion that has long been demonized by church folks. Beyoncé is here to reclaim all the aspects of black life that have been rendered as deviant, as waste, as toxic, as destructive. She will conjure it, remix it and remind us of the inherent value of black lives (and why they matter).
-Janell Hobson, Beyoncé as Conjure Woman: Reclaiming the Magic of Black Lives (That) Matter

The first thing I immediately thought when I saw Beyoncé's “Formation” was that some folks ruts – “roots” – would show. You know, ruts: biases, fears of lineage, missing genealogies, shit like that. And folks don’t like their ruts or their slip showing. Beyoncé showed er’body’s slip, parasol, skeeta bite scars, and conjuring grandmamma essence in this video. And it was scary. Downright gothic. That is, of course, unless you’re southern – by affiliation or blood and maybe hot sauce preference – and your ruts are ALWAYS showing because there was no reason to hide them in the first place.
-Dr. Regina Bradley, Getting in Line: Working Through Beyonce’s “Formation”


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Black Women Horror Writers: Sycorax's Daughters

Sycorax's Daughters, a new volume of "dark fiction and poetry" all written by Black women explores the intimate details of cultural nuance, race, and gender. Additionally, Sycorax's Daughters works in writer and activist Walidah Imarisha's words, "as a visionary space where Black women explore horror on their own terms." And it is through this specific intimacy with the horrific, that art such as the written word can act as a space of agency for those passionate about wielding a pen. Contributing writer Eden Royce envisions Sycorax's Daughters as "a burgeoning field of black women's creative horror fiction" and I couldn't agree more.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why Gothika Exposes The Hidden Thoughts of Every Black Woman Who’s Ever Experienced Mental Illness

Chloe: He came back again last night and tore me like paper. He opened me like a flower of pain, and it felt good. He sank into me and set me on fire, like he always does. Made me burn from the inside out.

Miranda: How did you know it was the devil?

While Gothika was mostly written off by critics as being just your average horror fare, it was seen as a pretty innovative and genuinely scary movie by many fans of the horror genre. Yes, it has flaws but if you want a shocking thriller, this movies does deliver. The 2003 horror film stars Halle Berry as the beautiful and well respected psychologist for the criminally insane, Miranda Grey. Miranda is married to the man who runs the institution. They appear to be the perfect example of relationship goals.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Black Women Horror Filmmakers: England Simpson's Prelude: A Love Story

Charlotte, North Carolina native England Simpson (@englandsimpson) is an actress in film and television who cites old classics such as Night Of The Living Dead (1968) and The Evil Dead (1981) as nostalgic comfort viewing as well as a source of insight and inspiration. Her immense love for the horror genre plays a crucial part in England's filmmaking debut.

Prelude: A Love Story, an “arthouse thriller/horror follows the story of Sarah (Simpson), a conflicted woman failing miserably at controlling her new-found obsession with murder." England described the balance of directing and starring in her own film as a welcomed challenge. "Sarah was an average woman until one event changed her life. Sarah could be any one of us, and I found that fascinating. The internal struggle she experienced, transforming from victim to villain, made me want to tell her story," England says. "From an actor’s standpoint, I needed a character that would stretch me… I’m known for my humor and goofy nature, but I needed everyone to see more of me. Sarah came at the right time."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

R. Shanea Williams On Developing Her First Feature Psychological Horror-Thriller

A craftswoman of the highest calliber, R. Shanea Williams' thirst for genre storytelling with complex, women of color leads makes her a filmmaker/artist that everyone should be eyeballing. I am thankful to have grown to know her and her work over these past few years as I was first blown away by her short Contamination and from there, a happy advocate for her psychological horror mini, Paralysis. Getting word of her venture into developing a feature film seemed only natural.

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