Tracy Oliver is making moves. After writing for the hit comedy, Girls Trip, she’s been presented with some new opportunities, new projects and new chances to stunt. As we reported earlier, one of those projects is a horror film produced with the help of Pharrell, Survive The Night.
In speaking about the film during a recent interview with Rookie, Oliver shared the challenges she’s faced as a Black woman taking on a genre not often occupied by Black people, let alone Black women.
“So, I sold a horror movie. I’ve always loved the horror/thriller genre…As you know, there are not a lot of Black people in that space. Jordan Peele broke through in a major way with Get Out, which I love was inspired by. I’d already said prior to Get Out coming out, when people would ask what I’d want to do next–this sounds random because people don’t think of Black women and horror–but I was like, I want to do a horror movie, and not only do I want to do a horror movie, but I want it to be with Black women. So people were like, “That’s an interesting combination.” One of the execs who passed on it, his issue with it was: “Do Black women watch horror movies?”…He was just like, “I don’t think that happens.”
If I’m being completely honest, I had two reactions to this comment. The first, “Ugh, racist.” And then the second, “I really don’t mess with horror films though.” Which was a bit discouraging. I’d hate to side with a backward thinking Hollywood executive over the Black woman trying to make change in the industry. I can’t. I won’t.
So instead, I asked myself to consider some things. Maybe I haven’t been engaged in horror films because none of them have reflected me or my interests, my likeness. Perhaps I just couldn’t relate. I mean, I loved Get Out. I’ve seen it quite a bit since it was released and it is terrifying. Not to say that a horror or thriller needs to be about race to get Black folk involved, maybe to get Black women into theaters, we just need to see someone who looks like us.
That train of thought sent me to the imagination station where I got on the train called “What would a horror film with Black women look like?”
Let’s travel shall we?