Horror is no genre for black people, or so the popular opinion goes.
You know the deal—if there's a black character in a slasher movie, or any other scary flick involving multiple people dying in horrific ways, he or she is destined to be the first casualty. Because that's the apparent birth right of a horror film's "Token Minority," that one person of color who's there to make the respective movie less vanilla. And, let's face it, unless you're watching a Wayans Brothers spoof or a straight-to-DVD fright film starring one or more rappers, horror movies are typically whitewashed. A sad fact, indeed, but an unavoidable truth nonetheless.
Take a step back, though, and really think about some of your favorite horror movies. Are the black characters actually killed off first? Granted, if there are even any black characters in your favorite horror movies to begin with, which isn't a guarantee.
Consider the genre's almighty canon: the old Universal Monster movies from the 1930s and '40s, Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Shining (1980), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), The Exorcist (1973), Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Omen (1976), Halloween (1978), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), to name a few. Only two of those movies have prominent black characters, Night of the Living Dead and The Shining, and, yes, both guys die, but Ben (Duane Jones) in the former survives until the former's final scene and the latter's Dick Halloran (Scatman Crothers) is only one of two people who die. He's first, yes, but The Shining doesn't have much of a body-count.
With those classics defying this controversial sentiment, we're posing this question: Do Black Characters Always Die First in Horror Movies? After compiling 50 horror flicks featuring main black characters, we've come to a conclusion that will surprise you.
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