Skip to main content

#SciFiSunday: Web Series Keloid Rivals The Best Of Mainstream Science Fiction Today

By Carolyn Mauricette (@vfdpixie)

Web series have become the latest way of getting original content out into the world when major networks turn a blind eye to indie filmmakers and their unique stories. The latest addition is Keloid, a sci-fi/supernatural series about a young man, his mother and his unique and dangerous powers.

Keloid (David Nixon) and his mother Marielle (Aba Woodruff) live in a constant state of high alert. Keloid possesses the power of telekinesis and the ability transport himself wherever he wants to with just a thought. His mother has the same powers and is desperate for him to embrace their unusual traits so he can survive in the modern world. Keloid is a young adult and just wants to fit in, so the struggle for him becomes more than just harnessing the powerful abilities, but to find a peer group and feel normal.

When an unfortunate accident forces Keloid and Marielle to flee, Keloid tries to come to terms with the accident and the fact that he may have to fend for himself. This fear comes as his mother prepares for a type of deep sleep called "hibernation" where their kind repair the physical breakdown their bodies suffer from the formidable powers surging within. Keloid will spiral into more intrigue as his mother reveals secrets that will change his life forever.

Huriyyah Muhammad who wrote, produced and directed the series, has created a gripping mythology with Keloid, his mother and their sci-fi lineage. She reveals the plot little by little with the under 10-minute episodes, avoiding spoon-fed exposition and allowing the audience to experience the action along with the characters. The editing also lends to this by creating mystery with as we see what occurs through flashbacks and jump cuts. While the series is definitely an indie effort, there are decent special effects that will satisfy the sci-fi hounds without being mismatched or over-the-top.

The cast is really good. Nixon gives Keloid life with his awkward coming of age defiance and Woodruff channels a strength into Marielle but still leaves room to show her vulnerability. Their chemistry as mother and son is great, and makes me think of Sarah and John Connor from the Terminator series. This time though, we get to see a Black mother and son give the roles more layers with not only the sci-fi aspect, but their lot in life as people of color, and the racially diverse cast grounds this contemporary sci-fi/fantasy story in reality. 
 
This engaging series came out of a non-profit organization called the Black TV Film Collective (BTFC) where like-minded creatives of color came together out of frustration from the lack of representation and diversity in film and television. Founded by Muhammad, the organization banded these artists together, pooling their resources to help each other bring their visions to the hungry “Blerd” masses because contrary to popular belief, there is a high demand for programming just like this. Think of Issa Rae’s HBO series Insecure and her journey from a self-produced-written-directed web series to major cable network. It’s rampant success can only pave the way for original content like Keloid. There’s hope yet for money hungry Hollywood executives to wake up to the demand from people of color to be represented in the entertainment we consume. And if not, well, I’m grateful for Muhammad and brilliant organizations like the Black TV Film Collective to bring us content we want to see.

BTFC is working on season 2 of Keloid, so stay tuned for the next leg of their journey as this young man learns more about himself, his family and his powers. 

Check out BTFC here and you can catch all the episodes on YouTube right now.



Carolyn is a film programmer for the Blood in the Snow Film Festival and a contributing author to the first edition of the Women in Horror Annual, The Encyclopedia of Japanese Horror Films (Rowman & Littlefield), and The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Films (Rowman & Littlefield). She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and has also written pieces on diversity and women in sci-fi for Graveyard Shift Sisters, film reviews for Cinema Axis, and Rue Morgue Magazine, online and in print, and articles in Grim Magazine. Her focus is on independent and Canadian horror, women in horror, and the representation of people of color within the genre. She has a new site, View From The Dark, where she deep dives into race and representation of people of color in genre film. You can follow her on Twitter (@vfdpixie)

Popular posts from this blog

How MIDSOMMAR Utilizes and Subverts Horror Movie Tropes of People of Color

By Mary Kay McBrayer (@mkmcbrayer)

For a film that could have been easily white-washed, Ari Aster’s Midsommar does have an inclusive cast. Before our characters are even taken to Sweden where most of the film's dread fueled action takes place, we meet them in their college town. Dani (Florence Pugh) stresses about her sister’s scary email while her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor) drinks at a bar with his buddies, only one of whom is black named Josh (The Good Place's William Jackson Harper).
I have watched enough horror movies to know—and I’ve been brown enough long enough to know—that this setting does not bode well for a person of color. The token minority, say it with me, tends to die first. Because of this ratio, I expected a few other established tropes of the horror genre in Josh’s character, too, and I have to admit, I was delighted and surprised that nothing played out the way I expected.

DARKLY: At The Heart Of Goth, Is Blackness

"Horror has always been used to illuminate cultural anxieties and gives a voice to our collective fears. So, what to make of the gothic in America, a place which by the very nature of its founding is predisposed to a culture of anxiety? The dread knowing the enemy at the gate is understandable, but in America the enemy has already passed through it, and has been brought inside. The call is coming from inside the house."
-words by Leila Taylor