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Black Horror Films: Slasher Flick, White Knuckle Tackles Gentrification

The slasher film, long formulaic, somewhat predictable, evergreen in its entertainment value with the subjectively right combination of compelling story and meaty characters will see its inspired evolution with Xavier Coleman's Brooklyn-based mystery, White Knuckle. This short details the story of three new and old Bedford-Stuyvesant residents who try to unveil the identity of a serial killer roaming the blocks in order to snuff out gentrifiers.

Coleman, a Boston-born transplant himself has seen a radical change in the neighborhood over the past few years. "I think specifically, it was more than just a racial demographic which is a visual marker, but more than anything a lack of communication and becoming a less communal area, receiving less hellos and saying less hellos," Coleman recently told Camille Bautista for This Is New York. "There are conversations about who the killer might be, black criminology, black pathology, what it might mean if the killer is a life-long local, and what it might mean if the killer is somebody who is a gentrifier themselves. It’s a conversation about who a neighborhood belongs to, not only in terms of actual physical space, but also culturally."

I spent my very early years in a small cut of West Philadelphia between what we call "the bottom" and the University of Pennsylvania. Sandwiched between these two contrasting spaces were apartment buildings and houses were kids played outside on a daily basis and the adults made it there responsibility to look after us all. We taught each other how to ride bikes, disciplined each other when we were out of line, and showed compassion when needed most. That same 39th and Powelton has lost that sense of familial community as I've passed through a few times since becoming an adult. The neighborhood I went to school in and shopped with my mother beyond my street has doubly seen a dramatic overhaul. Along with being priced out of a space I called home for many years, it has made me angry, sad, but pretty excited to see Coleman's film address these feelings in the context of the horror genre.

Please support Xavier and his commitment to horror while having a diverse cast and crew.

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