‘The Blackening’ Is a Horror Comedy Satirizing Internal Racism – Review

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The Blackening‘ Is a Horror Comedy that Reflects on Internal Racism within the Black Community and comes to Theaters on Friday, June 16, 2023.

The Blackening‘ is a Horror Comedy that satirizes internal racism within the Black Community brilliantly using humor and tension to bring these issues to light. In other words, ‘The Blackening‘ will be a perfect film to be viewed numerous times in college classes regarding race and race relations for multiple ethnic studies disciplines.

What makes ‘The Blackening‘ genius is not only that it is meta about making fun of various situations in the film or using Juneteenth as the reason for the reunion, but that each character is a different representation of people within the African-American culture.

Everyone finds a spot within being represented from Nnamdi (Sinqua Walls), the son of an African immigrant. Allison (Grace Byers), the half-White, half-Black woman who has to continuously prove her place in the society. Shanika (X-Mayo), the Afro-Latina (although, I do not remember if that was specified as her character, but we did discuss her background in a previous interview) with an edge who is the only one willing to swim. King (Melvin Gregg), the former gangsta who “went soft” for marrying an Off-White woman. Lisa (Antoinette Robertson), the darker skinned lady who is used to taking charge until Nnamdi shows up. Dwayne (co-writer, Dwayne Perkins), the gay friend who picks up all the pieces and Clifton (Jermaine Folwer), the conservative one that doesn’t quite fit in with the group.

The two most relatable characters for me, were Nnamdi and Allison, as I am the son of immigrants, but also of two different Middle Eastern ancestries being Assyrian and Lebanese. Just like Allison I had to overcompensate by learning the culture, the customs and history better than everyone else who was full blooded Assyrian. Thank God, my family loved me or I really would have hated that half of my heritage.

The Blackening‘ opens just like the original ‘Scream‘ where the most famous person in the cast is killed, but from there the real twists begin to take shape. As the friends are lured into the game room to play, “The Blackening” board game, featuring a racist character called a, “Sambo,” (this was new to me because the only Sambo I know of is the Russian Martial Art), in testing just how “Black” everyone in the group is, with Allison being the one who knows the lyrics to the second verse of the Black National Anthem.

My favorite joke was regarding the series, ‘Friends‘ that you will have to see for yourself.  The only joke that I didn’t understand was why would you invite the White guy to the cookout but then be surprised that he showed up.

The Blackening‘ will make White liberals uncomfortable, but it will also open up dialogues about internal racism within the Black Community, whether the differences faced between lighter and darker skinned people, American Blacks, Caribbean Blacks or Africans, ‘The Blackening‘ will also open up those discussions between all other ethnic groups whether American or foreign born, and that is what will make ‘The Blackening‘ a timeless film.

Tracy Oliver and Dwayne Perkins proved their genii as a writing duo and director Tim Story was able to translate their words to the big screen making not only having wanting a sequel to ‘The Blackening‘ but to also wanting a Blu-ray copy on my shelf to have these discussions with friends.

The Blackening‘ comes to theaters on Friday, June 16, 2023. Take your White friends, they might appreciate that humor is used to open up dialogue.

  • Overall Score
4.5

Summary

The Blackening‘ will be a perfect film to be viewed numerous times in college classes regarding race and race relations for multiple ethnic studies disciplines.

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