What Black Box’s Stars Say About Working With The Movie’s Freaky Contortionist

Mamoudou Athie in Black Box

It’s October, which means it’s time for scares. And few are generating more consistent scares in Hollywood these days than the crazy folks at Blumhouse. Amazon and Blumhouse TV have teamed this month for a series of original films that will be making their way to the streaming service, and our reviews for each title will land on CinemaBlend as the features open. They are available on Prime Video.

After we got a chance to check out Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour’s Black Box, though, we just knew that we had to ask the cast what it was like working alongside the contortionist in the movie who represents that crippling fears of the lead protagonist. Mamoudou Athie (Uncorked, The Front Runner) plays Nolan, a single father whose wife died in a car accident. Hoping to unclog the grief that’s clouding his brain, Nolan agrees to experimental therapy with Lillian (Phylicia Rashad), which puts him in the Black Box – where he meets the contortionist, aka The Backwards Man. Watch what they had to say:

“You get the fear for free.” That’s such an awesome way for Mamoudou Athie to explain how terrifying it was to actually act on set next to Troy James, a gifted contortionist who is able to perform tricks with his body that normal people cannot, and should not, be able to do. But Athie elaborates that having this type of co-star on set meant that the scares and the bizarre nature of the scenes was evident ON the days of filming, which only enhanced the terror and helped it come through onto the screen.

You might have seen Troy James in action already. He was featured on season 13 of the hit competition program America’s Got Talent. Want to see this man twist himself into a pretzel, and freak the show’s judges out? Of course you do:

Yeah, that clip along has me ready to watch what Troy James does in the Amazon and Blumhouse TV production of Black Box. As you can see in the film’s trailer, Athie’s character will continue to undergo experimental therapy to confront the grief that’s debilitating him. Only, the deeper that he goes into the alternate dream state, the deadlier it appears to get for him and his daughter (Amanda Christine). Watch the trailer:

And now you can go and watch Black Box, as it started playing on the streaming service on October 6. In addition to Black Box, the Blumhouse TV movies currently are showing The Lie, with Joey King.

Starting on Monday, October 12, two more features will be made available for horror fans: Evil Eye and Nocture. Make sure that you circle back to CinemaBlend for coverage, as we spoke to those casts and will also have reviews.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.