Blackstock Boneyard (2021)

Two brothers return from the dead to get revenge in this horror film based on a true story that answers a “what if”.

In 1915, South Carolina farmers Thomas and Meeks Griffin were executed for the 1913 murder of John Q. Lewis. However, they were wrongly accused and were forced to sell their farm to pay for their defense in the trial. One hundred years has passed, and four friends are headed for the town of Blackstock, South Carolina. The four friends are Lyndsy, Sarah, Chloe, and Jamie. Upon their arrival, Lyndsy reveals she is there as she gained an inheritance of some land in the area. Land that local judge CJ Ramage wants as his ancestor was the one who put the Griffin Brothers to death.

When Lyndsy meets local boy Jesse, the two take an instant liking to each other. Meanwhile, Bennie Simmons, another African American in the town, finds himself the victim of a possible lynching one night. However, he is shocked when he is helped by two big men in burlap sack masks. The men are none other than the Griffin Brothers, who have returned from the dead and are after the descendants of those who wrong them over a century ago. As Lyndsy learns the truth about her ancestors, she and her friends must find a way to escape the undead brothers before it’s too late.

This is quite a novel idea. Taking a real-life story and meshing it with the horror genre to answer a “what if” question. Daniel Farrands is the current king of this subgenre of film with The Amityville Murders, The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, and The Haunting of Sharon Tate. He took real-life stories and added his “what if” touch to the mix. Here, screenwriter Stephen George and director Andre Alfa took the trial and execution of Thomas and Meeks Griffin, prominent black farmers in South Carolina, who were wrongly accused of killing John Lewis in 1913 and added the “what if” flavor of them coming back to life to wreak havoc.

What’s great with this film is that there are no real tropes necessary in the film. There is no sex, no nudity, no typical bimbo like characters. Instead, we have four friends who are attempting to support one who gets an inheritance without knowing the truth about her ancestors. Ashley Whelan does a pretty good job as Lyndsy, the girl who gets the land and finds herself torn between the truth and the fact she is given an offer from the unscrupulous Judge CJ Ramage, played by Terry Milam. From the moment you see his character, you can smell the bad vibes along with his children Samantha and Corey, played by Laura Flannery and Bryan McClure. This is one family who take pride in their social status in the small town.

Tray Mills’ Bennie perhaps gets a temporary bit of comic relief when he is saved on not one, but two occasions by the ghostly Griffin Brothers. The first is a near lynching by some local rednecks then the second while in prison when he sees the brothers kill the racist sheriff and his deputy and his reaction is a bit priceless. As for the brothers themselves, Dean Wilson and David Jite do a pretty good job in their roles of the supernatural killers. If there is a flaw in the film, it is the visual effects to match the more practical effects seem a bit subpar. However, considering the budget for the film, it is a bit forgivable.

Blackstock Boneyard is quite an interesting horror film that answers a burning question…what if The Griffin Brothers came back from the dead to get revenge. The lack of tropes and story itself makes this a really watchable film.

WFG RATING: B+

Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Works Entertainment Ltd. Film in association with MonaLena Pictures. Director: Andre Alfa. Producers: Keithian D. Sammons, Cambria Watson, Cameron Mason, Stephen George, and Andre Alfa. Writer: Stephen George. Cinematography: Amza Moglan. Editing: Hernan Menendez.

Cast: Ashley Whelan, Aubree Storm, Aspen Kennedy Wilson, Sara Morgan, Carmen Pitts, Laura Flannery, Bryan McClure, Terry Milam, Jonathan Fuller, Richie Stephens, Dean Wilson, David Jite, Tray Mills.

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