top of page
  • NYS Writers Institute

Hey Xavier Burgin, is this a good time to watch a horror movie?

We asked young filmmaker Xavier Burgin whether this is a good time to watch a horror movie.

Xavier is the director of the acclaimed 2019 documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, the very first documentary produced by AMC Networks’ new horror video streaming service, Shudder. It's available for viewing on Shudder and iTunes.

He was our Writers Institute guest on October 18, 2019, during which we screened his film at the University at Albany's Page Hall followed by a conversation and Q&A with the audience. Earlier that afternoon, he joined us for a visit to Albany High School to speak with aspiring filmmakers and horror fans.

Xavier's event was presented in conjunction with UAlbany's 400 Years of Inequality Commemoration, with support provided by the Diversity Transformation Fund through UAlbany’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Xavier talked with us from his home in Los Angeles, where he is self-isolating.

Q: Is this a good or bad time to be watching horror movies?

A: Horror movies can often be a lens into the horrible, yet closer-to-truth-than-fiction reality of our times. If you'd like a trip into the bad (and sometimes good) of humans, now is the best time to catch up on your horror.

Q: What horror movies would you recommend?

A: I highly recommend folks watch films such as The Girl With All The Gifts, Get Out, Us, Ganja & Hess, Candyman, & Attack The Block. I also highly recommend watching The Witch and It Follows.

Q: How can horror movies help us get through these scary times?

A: While horror can adeptly critique current society, it's also a genre that allows us an escape from reality, if for a moment. We love to laugh at a good film, but a good scare can oftentimes bring us a very specific type of relaxation.

Q: Do you have any advice for young people who are looking to make the best use of their time?

Relax. Society has tricked us into thinking productivity should be a 24/7 mark. During this time of crisis, take out some days to relax and just do nothing. Enjoy it. Then afterwards, if you want to start your magnum opus, do it.

Q: Any advice for young people who are going stir crazy?

A: Stay inside. Social Distance. Wait it out. The more you don't listen, the less of 2020 you'll have to enjoy.

Q: Any other words of wisdom?

A: This one goes out to all of my filmmakers. It's a marathon, not a race. Don't measure your journey against others. Your path in this industry will be entirely unique. That's okay.

More Xavier Burgin:

What do you think? Is this a good time to watch horror movies?


bottom of page