MGM and Universal announced in early April the pushed-back release date of Nia DaCosta’s Candyman reboot, from June 12 to Sept 25, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While the news may come as a bit of a snag for many craving the Little Woods’ auteur’s take on the hooked specter, the months leading up to fall give audiences more time to get acquainted with more Black women directors in the horror genre.
The legend of Candyman states that if you say his name five times while looking in the mirror, he suddenly appears and kills you. Watch these five stellar horror shorts by an emerging list of Black women –and say their names five times so you don’t forget it!–as preparation for DaCosta’s highly anticipated horror joint:
1. Skintight by Ciara Boniface
Written and directed by Ciara Boniface, Skintight follows Robyn (Morgan Calhoun), a woman who becomes the prey of a cult that haunts her small Texas town. With nods to Jordan Peele’s Get Out, Skintight leaves viewers with the lesson that there is perhaps no greater horror than being a Black woman in America.
2. Suicide by Sunlight by Nikyatu Jusu
Filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu wrote Suicide by Sunlight with Robin Shenea Williams. In this cinematic gem, Black vampires protected by their melanin, walk the streets of New York City. Valentina (Nathalie Paul), fights to suppress her bloodlust in order to regain custody of her two daughters.
3. A Night At The Table by Tamara Hall
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/332738633″>A NIGHT AT THE TABLE</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/tamarashanice”>Tamara S. Hall</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Written and directed by Tamara S. Hall, A Night At The Table follows Sherry (Dierdra McDowell), a mother who prepares food for a seemingly normal family night dinner. However, what was supposed to be a normal family dinner soon grows into a night of tension as a dark family secret is revealed.
4. Ronald by Britt Banks
Equal parts Atlanta and Bates Motel, Ronald focuses on the title character, an employee for a small tech startup company by day who drives for a rideshare service in his spare time. Ronald also happens to be a serial killer. Similar to some current events, writer and director Britt Banks crafts the real-life nightmare of how an Uber ride could take the turn for the worst.
5. Wake by Bree Newsome
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/12133650″>WAKE</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/breenewsome”>Bree Newsome</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Bree Newsome made headlines and history in 2015 when she removed the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting. Beyond her pivotal role as an activist, Newsome is also a filmmaker. Her 2010 short film, Wake, focuses on Charmaine, a woman who uses “root work” to conjure up a demon who helps her create the man of her dreams. However, Charmaine soon learns that her ideal man is not so ideal.
Photo: Nikyatu Jusu