Black as Night is a horror film directed by Maritte Lee Go and stars Asjha Cooper, Fabrizio Guido, and Craig Tate, alongside other cast members. The film is 87 minutes long and is part of the Welcome to Blumhouse collaboration between Jason Blum and Amazon.
Amazon Prime Video describes the movie as:
A resourceful teenage girl driven by revenge, alongside her trusted friends, spends her summer battling vampires terrorizing her city of New Orleans.
– Black as Night review does not contain spoiles –
I went into Black as Night not knowing a single thing about it. And, good gosh was I surprised that this is a vampire flick. We follow Shawna, but not before an old man is eaten alive by a bunch of blood-thirsty vamps. Life isn’t fair for Shawna, with her family breaking apart and her going through high school.
Black as Night feels as much like a family drama and a coming-of-age movie as it is a horror flick. It doesn’t take time to start the carnage and neither does shy away from letting us know exactly what Shawna is thinking. I think I got really annoyed with the voiceover pretty quickly, but it was really funny to see Shawna thinking she’s going to turn to dust if sunlight hits her.
Another thing that might get on someone’s nerves is the straddling of high-school quirk and some good-old horror. It’s exactly like how Shawna’s life straddles her middle-class life with her father and her life at the delipidated Ombreux Housing with her crack-addicted mother. There is also a lot of heavy discussion surrounding gentrification, how Black and poor people suffer and the lack of mental health resources.
Regardless, there are some genuinely heartfelt moments and some fun “getting ready against the vampires” scenes. Listen, Black as Night is your average vampire film with some teenagers with a vendetta. There’s nothing new or spectacular about it that I can totally pinpoint which is really a bit sad. It’s the average ones that are the hardest to feel anything for!
As for the mixture between the social commentary and the horror, well, we all remember Get Out, right? It didn’t even feature vampires but good god did it give me the creeps. However, Black as Night does nothing of the sort. I mean, it tries to, but it never really meshes as well as Get Out. It’s more about friendships and teen romance than anything too serious.
Are the horror elements going to make you pee your pants though? Not really. However, I found some “scary” moments sadly hilarious though. I say sadly because I was surely expected to be scared and concerned for our band of revenge-seekers. However, the way the scenes are arranged and the dialogues just don’t make it horrific. Rather, it sounds like banter between vampires and humans. How do you take that seriously?
The lead, Asjha Cooper, is believable. She embodies the confused and revenge-seeking non-Buffy Buffy to its core. Pedro’s character, played by Fabrizio Guido, feels a bit too much and too in-your-face with all of its tropes slapped on him. The supporting cast, like the guard at Lefrak’s door, is disappointing at best.
Summing up: Black as Night
Black as Night isn’t as much of a horror movie as it is a teen-angst movie that is very difficult to take seriously. It’s got a fun, campy vibe but anything more than that would be too burdensome on its weak shoulders.
Black as Night is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.