Lately, horror films have contained more and more socio-political relevance as a reflection of our own nation’s current turbulent climate. Movies like Get Out and The First Purge have heavily featured themes like race relations in America and the tensions between law enforcement and the black community.
Obviously, one film mastered the balance between social commentary and horror much more effectively than the other. However, the point remains that we are entering a new kind of subgenre in horror, where these themes are infused into what makes the movies scary and are explored through the actions of their characters.
The newest movie to attempt this budding sub-genre is Body Cam, a Paramount feature starring a curious assortment of talent — including Mary J. Blige and Nat Wolff. The story centers around a black youth killed by LAPD, who then cover up the murder by destroying their body cam footage.
However, things take a turn for the supernatural when the officers responsible find themselves being haunted by a vengeful spirit. In my article, I discuss the existence of this film as a possible reflection for the way we process tragedies like this, which unfortunately crop up in the news more and more every day.
Does the addition of horror and the supernatural help or hinder the discussion around race relations and the treatment of black Americans at the hands of law enforcement? While necessary right now as a film, I hope that in the future we can have horror films with majority black protagonists that don’t center around the black characters befalling harm as a result of racial violence.