There’s more to horror than just white people…

My latest movie marathon included movies that feature Black main characters and racial themes.


Jeffrey Reddick, the openly gay writer of the original Final Destination, writes and directs this throwback to the supernatural slashers from the same early 2000s era.

Reminiscent of the classic Ray Bradbury story “The Crowd”, this is a modern look at the obsession with spectating as horrible situations take place in public rather than intervening to perhaps save a life.

In this case, a young Black woman is one of several people that watch as a man is beaten to death in a park.

She suffers from macabre hallucinations as guilt eats away at her for not helping the victim of the park crime.

Soon, she starts seeing a raven right before others who were at the park that day die. I think this is where the film is lacking. There aren’t many death scenes, and they aren’t particularly inventive or memorable—surprising when you consider the creator is responsible for a franchise that’s all about its wild death scenes. There is, however, a scene in which the main girl goes searching for someone crying for help that I’m convinced is a nod to Tina’s opening scene in the original Elm Street, right down to lattice fencing in the background.

As with other films of this sort, the plot points don’t stray far from the template—the main girl is the only one who believes something supernatural is going on, and as she tries to intervene before each murder the investigation inevitably points to her being a prime suspect. It’s definitely familiar territory, making this a retro comfort food horror flick.

For me, the absolute highlight is the ending, which brings to mind the zinger conclusions of classic horror anthology shows.


You know things aren’t going well when a movie has a dream scare scene and a dream scare scene within a dream scare scene. Or when a movie called Trinket Box is instead entirely based around a necklace, not the trinket box it came in.

A long opening sequence tells the tale of older days, when a young Black man is chased down by a white family for sleeping with their daughter. This is after the daughter talks to him about witches…a topic that is flirted with but never fully explored.

In the present day, an interracial couple moves into a new home. The absolute best part of this film is when an old white neighbor comes knocking to check on the wife because she saw “a dark man” leaving the premises. When the husband comes home, he warns the wife not to trust the old lady because she’s most likely racist…and the wife tells him he’s being paranoid! It’s an ideal example of how even white people married to Black people can look right through racism as if it’s not there.

Meanwhile, the old neighbor, who gives the wife the trinket box with the necklace in it, seems very witchy, but that idea simply isn’t expanded on enough to deliver much in the way of thrills. Other than the dream sequences, this turns almost exclusively into a drama about the tensions between the couple. She eventually gets pregnant, and I can’t believe how much time in this already too long movie is spent on their round of pregnancy announcements.

There’s only one other brief encounter with the neighbor, a nudity-free sex scene that is literally set to bow-chicka-wow-wow music, a lot of walking around in way too dark settings, and faux scares thanks to excessive orchestral stingers.

The husband does begin to suspect the wife acts differently whenever she’s wearing the necklace. With about fifteen minutes to go, she basically goes Linda Blair very briefly. The never-ending finale (which continues after the credits) does connect the main plot to the opening scene, but the connection makes this some sort of ridiculous plot to systematically wipe out interracial couples…partially through the occult.

GOATMAN (2023)

The film and sound quality fluctuate constantly in this goofy, low budget backwoods flick, making it clear what you’re in for. As corny and bad as it is, there’s a slight sense of humor here that made me laugh several times. The big flaw is that there’s not enough of the hokey goatman.

A white reporter, her Black cameraman, and a small crew head into the woods with a tour guide to investigate a bunch of disappearances near a bridge with an infamous past—in the early 1900s a Black goat herder was killed there by a clan of whites.

The local rednecks that are interviewed tell tales of The Goatman, which is believed to roam the forest and kill people, and some of the locals gave me a giggle.

Disconnected flashbacks show three teens doing a séance with a Ouija board on the bridge and then being killed by Goatman. We needed so much more of this action.

Instead, after a whole lot of talk between main characters, they are abducted by a bunch of hillbillies!

The bulk of the “horror” ends up being the hillbillies tormenting them while they are tied up, and then killing them one by one.

I kept wishing Goatman would show up to save the news crew from the hillbillies. That doesn’t happen until 70 minutes in, and it’s once again way too little Goatman action.

The tongue-in-cheek tone of the film is highlighted by a funny faux commercial, as well as a trailer promoting the director’s other film Amityville Cult.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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