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What is a Hip Hop Horror Film? 
By Jeff Carroll
You’ve probably never heard of this type of movie before and that is because I made it up to promote my film Holla If I Kill You. Since, then I have had to explain my description Hip Hop Horror to a everybody. I got a lot of attention and that’s just what I wanted. I thought of a lot of ways to describe my film Urban Horror, Black Horror, or even a Ghetto Horror. I felt those might be able to describe my film. I didn’t want to limit it to a type of environment with Urban or an economic region with Ghetto. Even though my film had a predominately African American cast I didn’t want be limited to one race. I thought about Hip Hop and it’s multicultural make up. Not, only did it fit the cast but, also described the soundtrack and even the behavior of the characters. See a Hip Hop film is dominated by one of the following as described by Shameka Gumbs founder of the Atlanta Hip Hop Film Festival. A Hip Hop Film must have a main dominating element. The Plot which can be about a member of the Hip Hop Community like the movie Juice or the culture of Hip Hop like in the movie Wildstyle. The characters beginning members of the Hip Hop community like in the movie House Party. And of course the soundtrack like in the movie Honey. This is only one part of the merger between Hip Hop and Horror. Horror Films are easier because they go back the beginning of film production. I didn’t think that putting a Rapper like Busta Ryhmes in Halloween Resurrection or LL Cool J in Halloween H2O made these films Hip Hop Horrors. Before I define Hip Hop Horror let me explain a Horror film is. There are so many related genres I asked Eve Blaack (editor of the Hacker’s Source a magazine that reviews Horrors movies) and Ron Bonk (owner of Sub Rosa Studios) to poll some filmmakers. The filmmakers used descriptions like Slasher, Gore, Monster and Scary used to describe Horror movies. Horror movies include all of the above qualities and characteristics. I would even for the sake of the conversation include Thriller, Sci-Fiction and Fantasy. Movies in general often have more than one quality in them. Horrors are the same, take the Classic movie Nightmare on Elm Street which was a Horror movie that had a lot of Comedy in it. 
 
Horror Films are stories where the main goal is to frighten, terrify, spook, scare or panic viewers by taping into our hidden fears and what we think is taboo. Horror Films focus on the unimaginable, the forbidden and the simply the worse things that can happen. Horror Films capitalize on our psychological weaknesses our nightmares, the consequences of our mistakes and wrong doings. In Horror movies it doesn’t matter whether the victims are innocent or bad people because bad things happen to everyone. Horror movies use Monsters, Gore, Blood and Guts, emotion breakdowns, buck wild behavior, the mentally disturbed, death and what cause it to achieve it’s goal. The early Horror films best displayed the genre with Mad Scientists and Monsters like Frankenstein, The Werewolf, The Mummy and Vampires. Some of the most horrifying movies don’t rely on Zombie’s, demons, cannibals, ghosts, aliens or special effects. To the makers of Horror movies their main goal is to leave audiences with something to think about and additional to be afraid of.
 
Hip Hop Horror film are movies that scare and horrify people set in the popular sub-culture of Hip Hop. Hip Hop Horrors are different from movie like “I Know What You did last Summer” in more ways than just changing the ethnicity of the cast. In a movie about the consequences of youthful behavior the same things can happen but, the characters would react different. When I was young I used to leave movies laughing with friends about how if we were in the movie it would have been totally different. We would have been playing different games, listening to different music and we would of displayed our disrespect for life differently. That difference is what makes a Hip Hop Horror Film. Looks for more films in this new hybrid genre from more filmmakers than me. Also, look for Hip Hop to contribute to the Horror genre the way DMX’s films like Romeo must Die have done to Action movies. The way “In to Deep” with LL Cool J and Omar Epps did with Ganster and Mob movies. Even the way Chris Tucker and Ice Cube did with the Comedy genre. Shoot I even like the Hip Hop cartoon “Static Shock”. Remember the “Blackxplotation period with movies like Blackula and Blackenstien and the Rock & Roll Beach movies of the 60’s with Annette Funicello well get ready for the Hip Hopploitation Era. 
 
 
 

 
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