The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster poster

Another day in the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, where the streets are bathed in sunshine and bodies litter the grass, Vicaria’s older brother Chris shot dead in front of his home in the same way that a stray bullet killed their innocent mother years before; her whole life tainted by tragedy, Vicaria is understandably obsessed with death and its causes.

A brilliant student who disturbs her high school biology teacher with her insistence that death is a disease to which she can find the cure, Vicaria experiments with electricity behind the locked door of a condemned unit, drawing power by tapping the mains supply, determined to bring back her brother, or at least something which looks as he once did, an unpredictable and dangerous creature as filled with rage as its creator.

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster; Vicaria (Laya DeLeon Hayes) stands over the body of her brother Chris (Edem Atsu-Swanzy).

An aggressively modern and relevant reframing of Mary Shelley’s story of Frankenstein with a dash of Weird Science written and directed by Bomani J Story, The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster is set in a poor black neighbourhood where the police only show up after dark when they have no choice and the families who live behind locked doors know better than to open up when the boys in blue come a-knocking.

Starring The Equalizer’s Laya DeLeon Hayes as Vicaria and The Expanse’s Chad L Coleman as her father Donald, neither of them are accepting of the position they are expected to assume in society nor the condescending looks of the white folks around them who hold the power, but more immediately dangerous are drug kingpin Kanga (Black Panther’s Denzel Whitaker) and his enforcer Jamaal (Keith Holliday) who control the local streets with violence and intimidation.

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster; in the condemned apartment at the foot of the block, strange things are afoot.

Vicaria’s unusual behaviour and her reputation as “the mad scientist” having drawn their unwanted attention, even among the children who play in the streets in a way she hasn’t been able to for years there is an understanding that their life expectancy is short; starting a war backed up by her secret unstoppable nocturnal protector (Edem Atsu-Swanzy), does Vicaria want revenge, justice, or just a ready supply of bodies for her experiments?

Boxed in tighter and with no one to turn to without placing them in danger, the premise drifts from the stated ambition to become a more conventional expression of anguish and disillusionment, the potential of The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster never expressed as sharply beyond the opening scenes, but throughout Hayes leads the ensemble of adults and pre-teens with the intelligence and assurance of one whose righteous rage comes from the defiant core of her being.

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster will be available on Shudder from Friday 22nd September

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster; refusing to accept what has happened or what she is told in school, Vicaria (Laya DeLeon Hayes) finds her own way.



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