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Halloween season is officially upon us!

With the return of pumpkin lattes and horror movie marathons on nearly every broadcast network, the month of October is sure to be one ghoulishly good time. In terms of the latter, advancements in streaming services now allow viewers to plan their own watch parties by providing instant access to hundreds of classic slasher flicks and monster mayhem titles.


Even though our people haven’t historically seen much luck when it comes to actually surviving in horror films, there have been a handful of examples that broke the mold and made cinematic history. However, there’s a select few out of the bunch that deserve special props for ultimately surviving by outsmarting the big bad.

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Making it to the end of a horror flick based on brains instead of brawn, or by simply tagging close behind the Final Girl, requires quite a bit of prowess under literal life-threatening pressure. Whether it’s being the one who finds a way to kill the monster, using technology as an advantage, or by simply getting out of harm’s way before things really hit the fan, let’s just say some of the Black characters in these films are over the usual trope of being the “token Black person” that ends up dying first.

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In order to kick off your next scary movie marathon on the right foot, we highlighted 10 Black characters that will definitely make you proud based on how they ended up surviving to the end. Let us know if we missed a notable horror flick survival story by sounding off on our social handles:



10 Smartest Black Characters In Horror Films  was originally published on

1. Peter Washington, ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ (1978)

Setting the tone for Black survivors in horror films, Ken Foree’s performance was both heroic and inspiring — you know, in case we ever actually end up in a zombie apocalypse.

2. Childs, ‘The Thing’ (1982)

There’s still an ongoing debate on whether or not Childs actually became a
“Thing” — apparently it’s all in the breath! — but if anything the legend Keith David taught us that sometimes it best to hide out or just join ’em.

3. Fool, ‘The People Under the Stairs’ (1991)

Before becoming one of the coolest kids of the ’90s for his role in The Mighty Ducks, Brandon Adams shook us to the core with this bone-chilling horror thriller. We’re still shocked he made it out the steps alive!

4. Jeryline, ‘Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight’ (1995)

Again, sometimes if you can’t beam ’em, just become the Demon Knight yourself like Jada Pinkett Smith did!

5. Joel, ‘Scream 2’ (1997)

There is nothing cowardly about getting out of town when a serial killer is on the loose. As Duane Martin put it in his closing line, see ya!

6. Preacher, ‘Deep Blue Sea’ (1999)

LL Cool J was killing these genetically altered sharks one by one! We might have to reconsider the brawn part of this argument. 

7. Eddie, ‘House On Haunted Hill’ (1999)

Although he stayed close to the blonde Final Girl for majority of the film, Taye Diggs was actually the smarts that got them through some of the closest calls. See the clip above for an example. 

8. Maggie Bess, ‘Thirteen Ghosts’ (2001)

Rah Digga was truly the heart of this campy horror film. Shoutout to the help being the hero in the end!

9. Flynn, ’28 Weeks Later’ (2007)

Harold Perrineau taught us a valuable lesson here: nothing beats a chopper!

10. Rod Williams, ‘Get Out’ (2017)

Everything Rod did and said in this film felt like he was speaking for the general  audience with some common sense. Prop to whatwas clearly improv by the hilarious Lil Rel.

11. Honorable Mention: Brenda Meeks, ‘Scary Movie 2’ (2001)

Sure Scary Movie is more of a spoof on scary films, but we’d be remiss to not mention the genius that Regina Hall brought to this role as a way to reflect what many Black people think and/or say while watching horror movies. We still want a Brenda spinoff film, too!