“You are the despised of the earth.” - 4 Halloween-Ready Horror Flicks Featuring Leads of Color

Header with an old-school film border featuring screenshots from 4 horror films: Ganja & Hess, The Wailing, Noroi: The Curse, and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.


It’s the week of Halloween, which means it’s celebration time over here at Three of Swords! For all of my fellow goth & alternative babes, this is our Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Eve, and Thanksgiving all wrapped into one. You’re craving cranberry sauce and stuffing? I’m shoving pumpkin-shaped Reese’s cups into my greedy, gaping maw. Already throwing sparkly, sequined dresses into your online shopping carts for your situationship’s (don’t go, they’re not worth it) NYE party? I’m already decked out in my cozy black and orange jammies, complete with a mug of matcha.

If you adore Halloween just as much as I do, then you probably adore horror films. And if you adore horror films just as much as I do, then you’ve already been watching your tried-and-true classics throughout the month of October. Now, here’s the thing: the classics are classics for a reason. Watching Jack Torrance break through that bathroom door for the 50th time hits just as hard as it did the first time. Knowing the twist ending of Robert Wiene’s arthouse triumph, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligariin advance doesn’t suppress its power. I’m going to watch Hellraiser and marvel over the cenobites this year, next year, and the year after that…and guess what? It’s still gonna slap.

However, there’s a time to branch out and see what else the world of horror has to offer. What if you never check out that 60’s Italian supernatural thriller or 90’s Japanese slasher that’s been in your Netflix queue for years (guilty) and miss out on what could become your new favorite horror flick of all time? Why cry over the lack of diversity within the genre if you only stick to the Eurocentric standards? There’s a whole world of unique, eccentric horror out there, and as much as it pains me to say it, we’ve got to give Hereditary a break. She’s tired! 

Here’s where I come in with 5 Halloween-ready films (all POC-led, of course) for your viewing pleasure. Maybe you’ve heard of them and maybe you haven’t, but they’re sure to make your darken your next movie night in all the right ways. 

(1) Ganja & Hess

Release date: 1973
Director: Bill Gunn
Genre: Blaxploitation horror
Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime

IMDb Synopsis: "After being stabbed with an ancient, germ-infested knife, a doctor's assistant finds himself with an insatiable desire for blood.”

For fans of: J.D.’s Revenge (which we covered last year here), Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (Spike Lee’s fantastic 2014 remake)

(2) The Wailing

Release date: 2016
Director: Na Hong-jin
Genre: Psychological thriller
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Tubi

IMDb Synopsis: "Soon after a stranger arrives in a little village, a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman, drawn into the incident, is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.”

For fans of: A Tale of Two Sisters, Thirst (covered here)

(3) Noroi: The Curse

Release date: 2005
Director: Koji Shiraishi 
Genre: Found footage/paranormal thriller
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Shudder

IMDb Synopsis: "A documentary filmmaker explores seemingly unrelated paranormal incidents connected by the legend of an ancient demon called the ‘kagutaba’."

For fans of: Paranormal Activity, Ju-On: The Grudge

(4) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Release date: 2014
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Genre: Thriller/neo-noir
Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Tubi

IMDb Synopsis: “In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.”

For fans of: Let the Right One In, Only Lovers Left Alive 

If I missed any of your favorites, make sure to reach out via the Contact page and tell me why I should check them out. As always, keep it sexy, safe, & spooky this season!