Black as Night Movie Review

Streaming on Amazon Prime starting Oct. 1, 2021

 

“Black as Night” is a movie that comes from Blumhouse Television, and it usually means a low budget and a high concept. Sometimes, the low budget can be low quality. But in this case, the idea and setting mingle to make a nice updated version of “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”. But this movie is set in the rundown areas of New Orleans, well after Katrina. So the mix between horror and social commentary becomes unavoidable. So this Amazon Original movie raises the ‘stakes’ for quality entertainment.

 

 

Shawna (played by Asjha Cooper) is a young Black teenager in New Orleans. Her close friend is Pedro (played by Fabrizio Guido), who is in an immigrant family from Mexico. School is out and they hang out together wishing they had a hot boyfriend (both of them actual would like that). Her mother has had drug issues for quite some time, and she stays away from the family. Shawna and Pedro attend a house party, but she sees a guy that she would really like to have as a boyfriend. Chris Thompson (played by Mason Beauchamp) has a bunch of girls around him all the time. Shawna cannot find anything to say, and she leaves to walk home alone.

 

Bad move on her part. She sees a group of men attacking a guy in the street. She tells them to lay off, but they come after her. One of them bites her neck, and is about to feast when a car pulls up and chases the attacker away. The next day, Shawna explains to Pedro that she might have been ‘turned’ by a vampire. Shawna and Pedro go to see her mother in the tenement housing. He mother was turned by a vampire and goes after them. But her mother is killed by the sunlight. Shawna goes to get more information about vampires.

 

She meets up with a white girl named Grandia (played by Abbie Gayle) who is a collector of vampire books. Shawna also meets up with Chris and asks him to help out. With Shawna and Pedro, Chris gets into a small vampire lair. They overpower the older vampire guy in there to get more information. He tells them where the main group of vampires is staying in New Orleans. It is an old historic house that used to be owned by the largest slave-holder in the city. Punching a vampire in the heart with a stake will cause some severe damage (as they find out).

 

Shawna and Grandia play dress up to get into the historic house. Pedro and Chris are right behind to add to the anti-vamp forces. Shawna is able to knock off a vampire named LaFrack. But he turns out not to be the main vampire who controls the house. That main vampire is named Babanoux (played by Keith David), and he is build an army of vampires from the homeless and the lost. He plans on using his army to take over, and make New Orleans a human-free zone.

 

Shawna and company are approached by Tundie (played by Sami Njuguna), who she thought was just a creepy cab driver. Be he turns out to a vampire also. His intentions are to co-exist with humans, and he wants to stop Babanoux from his evil takeover. Tundie has a small army of good vampires with whom he works.  They all keep a low profile to blend in as much as possible. They all know that Babanoux has been around since the slave period, and his plans are to conquer and cause havoc. Tundie sees that Shawna and her small group can work with them to prevent the destruction of the city.

 

Shawna, Pedro and Chris head back to the historic house in the French Quarter. They have plans to take out this vile nest of vampires, including Babanoux. But will this small group of teenagers be able to take out an experienced group of vampires who have lived several generations? Can the will to kill be stronger than the accumulated knowledge of this band of undead ghouls? The ‘stakes’ have been raised…

 

“Black as Night” comes across as a mixture of a “Buffy” update with a smattering of the recent “Candyman” remake. There are vampires and creepy creatures. But both movies also feature the history of slavery and suppression to put the story into a basis of real-life horrors. This is not a perfect movie, but it takes an historic setting and current conditions to give it a fresh look. But when you watch in on Amazon Prime, just remember to order a big pizza with extra garlic!

 

Streaming on Amazon Prime starting Oct. 1, 2021

 

Black as Night

Directed by: Maritte Lee Go
Screenplay by: Sherman Payne
Starring: Asjha Cooper, Fabrizio Guido, Mason Beauchamp, Abbie Gayle, Keith David
Cinematography: Cybel Martin
Edited by: Tim Mirkovich
Production: Blumhouse Television
Distributed by: Amazon Studios
Release date: October 1, 2021
Running time: 87 minutes
Genre: Horror

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Rating

tmc.io contributor: JMcNaughton

Well, now - COVID changes everything... But in my dreams:

I think movies need to be shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible! Going to a movie theater is a group experience, even if you go in there alone. When the lights go dark and movie begins, you can participate in a special kind of magic. You can be entertained, or enlightened. But you are never bored. Or at least, let's hope not. Try reading the reviews first.. maybe that will help!

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