A24’s The Front Room Goes Extra With Secrets and Terror In the Home

The Front Room still of Belinda, played by Brandy.

With The Front Room, sensational R&B artist Brandy returns to the silver screen. From A24, this horror film looks to put one foot firmly in racial tensions but looks like a blend of horror, creep, and camp. Brandy (MoeshaI Still Know What You Did Last Summer) stars as Belinda, a soon-to-be-mother in an interracial marriage. When her ailing white mother-in-law, played by Kathryn Hunter (Poor ThingsThe Tragedy of Macbeth), moves in with the expecting couple, it’s soon apparent the senior woman wants to sink her hooks into her grandbaby, and Belinda must draw the line somewhere. 

Written and directed by Max Eggers (The Lighthouse) and Sam Eggers (Olympia), the film bases its tale on a short story by Susan Hill, the writer of The Woman in Black. Based on the trailer, The Front Room looks heavy on racism, leaning toward campy horror that audiences can cheer at. Often, older people get described as ornery or crotchety with their harmless verbal jabs. But here, there are undertones of another nature. Plenty of wives would describe their mothers-in-law as a mother-in-law from hell. But for Belinda, it looks literal. 

The Front Room trailer from A24 via Youtube.

The Front Room trailer looks creepy but over the top at points. Whether it toes the line and leans more to a Get Out or becomes a downward spiral of ludicrousness like Spell—the only joy in that movie is seeing Loretta Devine—is anyone’s guess. But based on the ever-increasing offensive remarks Belinda’s mother-in-law subjects her to, audiences will surely scream and curse at the screen. They’ll also cheer when Belinda gets the upper hand. While the white writers and directors raise concerns about how they’ll handle race, let’s hope Brandy’s in a great film. 

What do you think of the trailer?

The Front Room releases in theaters on September 6.

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