Black Characters In Horror

Originally published October 2013

Written by: Zena

Ever wonder why Black characters in horror movies are never really diverse?

At a very early age, I came to terms with the stereotypical Black characters in horror films. That definitely includes an understanding of Black stereotypical characters. What’s the point of these characters? Is this how the world sees Black people? Or are we just easy to make fun of? In my opinion, there are 8 types of Black characters in horror films, and I plan to expose them here!

Black Characters In Horror
Gothika

8THE STAR 

This unfortunately is like seeing an orange unicorn who can talk and make you breakfast. My point is: it’s RARE! Most likely, this character won’t die. But if for some strange, mystical reason he or she does die, you can count on it being unforgettable! Somehow, this shining character will save their friends lives, the planet, and even the universe before it’s lights out for him or her!

Black Characters In Horror
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

7THE BEST FRIEND/SIDEKICK 

Usually, this Black person is a friend, partner or neighbor of the Caucasian star. He or she is basically in the film until the Caucasian star is about to be slaughtered, eaten or provoked by the killer/monster/zombie/possessed chair, etc. That’s when this Black best friend or sidekick sacrifices themselves. She or he most likely will die a horrible death, all the while screaming at the Caucasian star, “I have to do this! Go….save yourself!” Once the Black person is completely lifeless, the Caucasian star will scream to the sky, ceiling or camera, “NO!!!” Of course, this isn’t always the case and there are exceptions where the Black friend survives!
Black Characters In Horror
Scream 2

6THE RANDOM BLACK GUY 

This random guy usually has a bunch of Caucasian friends and perhaps a Black girlfriend. But most likely, the girlfriend is Caucasian, Asian or Hispanic. He’s random because he doesn’t fit in, not because he’s Black but because he has nothing in common with anyone in the group. Most of the time, he even dresses and speaks differently! For some reason, he goes along with, “It’s midnight and someone was murdered, let’s go to the cemetery and have a seance!” He’s usually tough and wants to be in charge when horrible things start to happen.

Black Characters In Horror
Night of the Demons

5THE SCAREDY CAT 

The name states just what this character is! Somehow, he usually makes it to the end or almost to the end. This character is usually funny, though I’m not too sure if he is supposed to be comical. I often laugh at inappropriate situations, so maybe it’s not comical to others! Back in the 80s and 90s, the scaredy cat was funny, but the scaredy cat these days will show fear with a bad attitude and offensive words.

Black Characters In Horror
The Leech Woman

4THE MYSTERIOUS OLD PERSON WHOSE KNOWS EVERYTHING 

This person is mysterious and knows EVERYTHING. How? Why? Sometimes we never find out! They try to give information about that dead girl or why the creature feeds on human flesh. These types are usually very insightful and nice but not very smart. Because of that, they are swiftly killed off.

Black Characters In Horror
The Skeleton Key

3THE PERSON WITH COMMON SENSE 

Often, this type tries to reason with her Caucasian friend(s), giving warning when necessary. This type can come in all ages and genders. There is the young, hipper one or the old timer that’s been around long enough to know better! He or she usually don’t have a long lasting, major role.

Black Characters In Horror
The People Under The Stairs

2THE THUG 

This type is usually played by rappers, and the character he plays isn’t much different than who he is in real life. If he isn’t played by a rapper, he is still loud and authoritative. Either he’s overweight or extremely buff. But don’t let his authoritativeness fool you. He will most like die or just be missing in action.

Black Characters In Horror
Angel Heart

1THE SEX KITTEN 

It’s extremely hard to resist this sex kitten! It’s like she taunts other characters with her creamy voice or seductive body. And if for some reason a character is able to touch her, this sex kitten either becomes or reveals that she already is a demon, ghost, zombie, vampire or who knows. Maybe the director even settles for her to have Chlamydia. Regardless, beware. Did I miss any?

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Which type would be on your list?

Zena is the founder and creator of Real Queen of Horror!  She is a blogger, film reviewer, filmmaker, lover of fashion and ALL things creep.