“The Blackening,” “Scream” and More Meta Horror Movies

Everett Collection / Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

For huge horror fans, sometimes the most fun films to watch are the ones that get super meta. That’s when a movie becomes self-referential, hearkening back to tropes and conventions of the horror genre to crack jokes, make points, and enhance the story being told on screen. The “Scream” franchise, which features six movies so far, including 2023’s “Scream 6,” is perhaps the most dominant force in the meta horror genre. Starting with 1996’s original “Scream,” the movies have poked fun at horror, true crime, and storytelling conventions for two decades.

The new movie “The Blackening,” released June 16, is another entry into the meta horror movie canon, making fun of the offensive trope that Black people always die first in movies. But in a film of all-Black actors, who dies first?

In honor of “The Blackening”‘s premiere, we rounded up some meta horror movies that do a great job of mocking and critiquing the genre while still being a satisfying horror movie on its own. Some are gory slashers, while others focus on psychological torment.

Ahead, these are seven of the best meta horror movies.

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