What if the only way to slow down gentrification was for a serial killer to go on a rampage, slashing the necks of budding venture capitalists, artists, and hipsters?
That’s the premise of filmmaker Xavier Coleman’s in-progress project, White Knuckle. The story revolves around three young adults who move into a neighborhood dealing with rapid gentrification — and a mysterious string of brutal murders. Coleman found inspiration in the classics, plus cheeky late-’90s slashers like Scream, which are as funny as they are straight-up terrifying.
Coleman was inspired to write the script after moving to Bed-Stuy, a part of Brooklyn that was once home to artists like Lena Horne, Chris Rock, and Notorious B.I.G. “By the time I arrived to the neighborhood — part of a larger area known as “brownstone Brooklyn” by early gentrifiers — I noticed that although there was still some sense of community and black cultural significance, for the most part it seemed to be fading away,” he explained in the film’s campaign video.
The cast and crew is comprised mostly of people of color and women, rare in any genre — but particularly horror films. It seems like we’re on the cusp of a trend of genre films that aim to explore race relations in America: in February comes Get Out, a psychological thriller about a black man who visits his white girlfriend’s parents in a town where black people keep disappearing.
Coleman hopes the film will be ready for release in April 2017. Read more and donate here.
Thumbnail image: Connor Lawson (DP) & Xavier Coleman (Writer/Director)