Halloween season, also known as the month of October, is upon us, which means spooky movies and horror films will be in heavy rotation on virtually every TV network and streaming platform for the next few weeks.
Already impressing us is Amazon Studios and Blumhouse Television, which is releasing a horror/thriller movie anthology, “Welcome to the Blumhouse,” that’s not only bringing more scary to the screen but also more diversity with the all-Indian led flick “Evil Eye” and “Black Box” starring Mamoudou Athie and Phylicia Rashad. As a lover of psychological thrillers and anything that goes bump in the night, I couldn’t wait to ask Athie and Rashad about their favorite horror films, but it turns out America’s most beloved mom isn’t much of a fan of the genre.
“These things can be very disturbing so I wouldn’t say I have a favorite one,” Rashad said when asked about scary movies. “I have to spend time decompressing. I don’t want to frighten anyone away but, you know, choose the time of day that you wanna watch it,” she said in reference to “Black Box.” “Make sure there’s plenty of sunlight.”‘
That response might make you question what drew the veteran actress to the film. As it turns out, she was intrigued by the opportunity to try something new.
“I love the newness of everything,” she said. “I mean all of it, yes, and working with people I never worked with before. There wasn’t a single actor on this set that I had ever worked with before and that’s an expansive experience, especially when you’re working with actors who are real artists, who are great artists and even greater human beings.”
Athie feels similarly. “I’m really just a fan of what the material is,” he said. “The genre doesn’t really matter. I’m not seeking out a particular genre unless it’s a RomCom. I am susceptible to a good RomCom. Other than that, really it’s about the script and the people who are making it because then it’s like a story, then it’s just a good story.”
“Black Box” tells the story of Nolan, played by Athie, a single father who, after losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, undergoes an experimental treatment that leads him to question who he really is. In the trailer, we hear Nolan repeat, “I run my mind, it does not run me,” a mantra of sorts he learns from his doctor Lilian, played by Rashad.
I asked both actors if they’ve ever had to tell themselves something similar and they agreed that the year 2020 has pushed both of them to keep their thoughts from running wild. Speaking on the seemingly endless spiral of bad news the past year has brought us, Rashad said, “This film will be a good diversion.”
“Black Box” debuts on Amazon Prime Video October 6.