Watch: His House director and star discuss boom in Black horror
His House star Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù says the experience of being a Black person in 2020 “does read a bit like a horror story” and that the Netflix movie is “a bit more of a documentary than we'd like it to be”.
Dìrísù and co-star Wunmi Mosaku play a refugee couple who have fled South Sudan and are housed in a shabby London property while seeking asylum in the UK.
There seems to be some sort of force haunting their new home, placing director Remi Weekes’ movie in the tradition of recent films — such as Jordan Peele’s Get Out — which have used horror as a way to communicate the Black experience.
“There is definitely a parallel that the Black experience, in many different guises across the world, does read a bit like a horror story sometimes,” Dìrísù tells Yahoo Movies UK.
“I think, especially this year in 2020, we can't escape things that have happened to Black bodies, both in America and in Africa and the UK.
“If you recounted these stories to anybody, then it does read like a horror.
“Unfortunately [His House] is a bit more of a documentary than we'd like it to be and hopefully that will change going forward. But sometimes the Black experience is one that belongs in a horror story.”
Weekes is unsure that the recent prominence of Black voices in horror is a trend for entirely creative reasons, but more a reflection of the limited opportunities on offer for filmmakers of colour.
“There's a very narrow window of areas that the industry allows Black filmmakers to tell their films within,” says the director.
“Because horror has proven to be successful in telling certain stories, it allows for Black filmmakers to step in and craft stories within it.”
Gangs of London star Dìrísù adds: “I'm really glad that more people of African descent and more non-white filmmakers are being able to make stories that reflect their experiences.
“Hopefully it's not a trend that's in fad for a bit and then falls out, but hopefully it's just the beginning of more diverse stories being told.”
Read more: Halloween 2020 horror viewing guide
His House is one of a series of horror movies featuring Black leads heading to the screen in the near future, with Nia DaCosta’s reboot of Candyman currently scheduled for 2021.
This year has also seen Janelle Monae star in Antebellum, with Jordan Peele’s Us and acclaimed Shudder documentary Horror Noire arriving in 2019.
His House is available to stream on Netflix from 30 October.
Watch: Trailer for Netflix horror His House