“The Blackening” Set to Premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival

“The Blackening” Set to Premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival

Image Source: Lionsgate

Get ready, “The Blackening” is making its way to the big screen this summer with a timeless horror scenario that’s all too familiar: a group of friends head up to a cabin in the woods for a relaxing weekend, only to find themselves being picked off by a murderous intruder. In the Tim Story-directed horror-comedy, though, the main characters are well aware of cliché scary-movie tropes — and determined not to fall victim to them.

“The Blackening,” which is cowritten by “Harlem” creator Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins, follows a group of Black friends on a weekend getaway trip in celebration of Juneteenth. But when they find themselves trapped with a killer, gore and hilarious moments ensue. Based on a 2018 short film of the same name by comedy sketch group 3Peat, the forthcoming flick seems hell-bent on slaughtering the most tired horror-movie clichés by pushing Black culture to the front of the genre.

In 2022, Perkins — who wrote and starred in the short film that “The Blackening” is based on — elaborated on the premise in an interview with Collider. “The intent was to take tropes and then expand them to force the audience to realize tropes are also human beings. My character is a ‘gay best friend,’ which is a trope that is in movies,” he explained. “Usually, they’re [‘gay best friends’] regulated to the side to be a person who gives humor, or they are part of a joke. So being able to take these tropes and find exactly what makes them complex, what gives them depth, and then forcing that in the movie so that when you start watching it, you see what has been in horror movies before and then the goal of the movie is to constantly break down your assumptions of these characters by constantly forcing depth.”

On April 24, 2023, director Story added in a press statement: “Of course, we want ‘The Blackening’ to be enjoyed by everyone – but it’s especially a celebration of and a theatrical event for Black culture. This film really shows that Black people are not a monolith – there are so many different things that define us, but also bring us together.”

Read ahead for everything else we know about “The Blackening,” including where it’ll premiere before its wide theatrical release in June.

“The Blackening” Trailer

“The Blackening” Cast

“The Blackening” stars Perkins, Grace Byers, Jermaine Fowler, Melvin Gregg, X Mayo, Antoinette Robertson, Sinqua Walls, Jay Pharoah, and Yvonne Orji.

“The Blackening” Plot

“The Blackening” follows a group of seven friends who celebrate Juneteenth with a weekend trip to a remote cabin. Soon, though, one of their friends is kidnapped by a killer. In a terrifying video in the trailer, the killer demands that — in keeping with the offensive and cliché horror-movie trope that sees Black characters die first — the group sacrifice the “Blackest” one among them in order to save the rest.

“The Blackening” Release Date

Before “The Blackening” hits theaters widely on June 16, it’ll first premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival on June 13 at Harlem’s Apollo Theater.

In Story’s statement, he added of the movie’s cultural significance: “That’s why it’s so deeply meaningful that we are premiering at the legendary Apollo. For more than a century, this theater has been the epicenter that originated so much Black entertainment before it sent its shockwaves out to the world. As we lead up to the release of our film on Juneteenth weekend, it’s a unique pleasure to be celebrating our US premiere in this historic place.”

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