Mild spoilers ahead!
I’m going to spend a lifetime with Knives And Skin. Its pulse of color, vibrating hope on a low frequency. Its unapologetic exposure of our inner-selves that is unspeakable, primal, and plain messy. Its audiacity towards the indulgence of surreality. Knives And Skin is a filmic whole. A complete body and mind. Everything we have and will experience if given the room. Due to its tonal soup, I celebrate its odd brilliance by speaking of and back to this film the way it spoke to me.
Horror has always had a heavy constituency made up of youth. In the 21st century as a generation matures into adulthood and has essentially lived in a world where there always has been access to hip hop culture, the horror market developed ways in which to capitalize on this. Many of us have seen rappers in genre films. It has even been said that one of Halloween producers, Moustapha Akkad’s sons enthusiastically encouraged him to cast Busta Rhymes in Halloween: Resurrection (2002). Moustapha then used Google to find out who Busta Rhymes was.
Rapper/actor lead and major supporting role horror films have been a trend. In the direct-to-DVD, independent market, they were a saturation; “over 100 hip-hop inspired ‘Black horror’ films were released in the first decade of the twenty-first century alone.” Mostly known for their (much) lower budgets and putting z’s at the end of titles (Vampiyaz, Zombiez, Cryptz, and overall abuse of the English language) these films were ruled by a marketing target set in the 1980’s: the profitability of “youth, hip hop, and the home video market”.