Maritte Lee Go (director)
01 October 2021 (released)
03 October 2021
Black as Night is a vampire story set in New Orleans with a few other more social and cultural themes included for good measure.
Narrated by Shawna (Asjha Cooper) who immediately sets up the plot with her saying the last thing she expected to be doing over her summer break was fight vampires. Though we have a good idea that may be the case as the first thing we see is a homeless man attacked by vamps.
Shawna and her best friend Pedro (Fabrizio Guido) are in banter mode as they make their way to visit Shauna’s mother who’s estranged from the family. She has a drug problem and living on the drug gang dominated and dilapidated Ombreux Estate. Despite being in a poor state of health there’s no way Shawna’s father will have her back until she’s sorted herself out.
Away from her home life Shawna quite fancies local beau Chris (Mason Beauchamp) though when she tries to get acquainted at a party, she falls to bits. Embarrassed she sets of home and is attacked by vampires though she is saved by a car, scaring them off.
Barely believing what has happened Shawna starts to investigate which leads her to a grand mansion in the city and some mysterious goings on. Finally convincing a sceptical Pedro and roping in her brother and a vampire expert they set out to get to the root of the infestation and deal with it.
There’s a very Buffy, teenager good will vibe about much of Sherman Payne’s script with the gang coming the pulling together against the vampires. That’s well blended with the more serious issues regarding the ongoing legacy of hurricane Katrina and the social divide in the community. There are other matters that could be picked up such as pressures on teens to conform for supposedly aesthetic reasons which are skilfully worked in to.
Director Maritte Lee Go runs with these dual themes pretty well with neither cancelling the other out. The only time there’s a feeling of author intrusion is with Keith David’s intervention towards the end with a weighty speech on the legacy of slavery.
Otherwise this is all very fast and zippy as the gang set about the vampires and clearing them out. There’s a good deal of action and plenty of dusting with reasonable effects and time passes by pleasurably enough without too much of a challenge.
Black as Night is part of the Welcome to the Blumhouse collection and is available on Amazon Prime now.