Review: The Blackening


Title: The Blackening
MPA Rating: R
Director: Tim Story
Starring: Antoinette Robertson, Grace Byers, Dewayne Perkins
Runtime: 1 hr 37 mins

What It Is: A cabin in the woods. This is a typical setting for a horror film of many sorts. When Morgan (Yvonne Orji) and Shawn (Jay Pharoah) plan a dope weekend of fun as part of a reunion they put a game night together. When a mysterious game called “The Blackening” appears out of nowhere there are serious concerns that this group of folks might just be in trouble. It gets further when a black mask wearing psycho shows up toting a crossbow.

What We Think: This films biggest surprise is the man behind the camera. Tim Story is notorious for making comedies that run the gamut from fine (Barbershop) to unforgivably bad (Ride Along 2). This might be his best film to date. It’s fun, funny and just the right amount of suspenseful. A Tim Story film being genuinely hilarious was not on my 2023 cinema bingo card. I’m glad it was what it was though. Each member of the cast holds their own comedic weight never letting the runtime (which was perfect) sag or feel too long. It’s got great pacing and though it gets a little preachy from time to time it overall works so well you don’t care.

Our Grade: B-, Far from perfect it is exactly what it needs to be. A funny, Blackcentric comedy that plays up the “Black guy dies first in a horror movie” trope. Even pointing out in it’s marketing the comedy of the entire cast being Black. I loved seeing that and I loved that it wasn’t another lowest common denominator comedy from one Mr. Tim Story. I give this one a huge recommend and it works so much better with a crowd. So the whole family or friend group can check this one out. Laughing along the way.


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