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‘Black Box’: Meet Mamoudou Athie, Phylicia Rashad and the cast of the ‘Welcome to Blumhouse’ horror

'Black Box', a film that has a very 'Black Mirror' vibe, follows a man who lost his wife and his memory in an accident, as he says yes to an experimental treatment that has dire consequences
Phylicia Rashad and Mamoudou Athie (IMDb)
Phylicia Rashad and Mamoudou Athie (IMDb)

As Halloween draws closer, Blumhouse Television and Amazon Studios are all set to bring us an unsettling small screen cinematic experience in the form of a collection of eight all-new horror films under the banner ‘Welcome to the Blumhouse’. Of the four films that will be released in October, one, 'Black Box’, a psychological horror/thriller, has ‘Black Mirror’ written all over it. 

The film follows a news photographer called Nolan Wright, who lost his wife in a tragic car accident. But the accident also affected his memory, so much so that it begins affecting his day-to-day activities, including looking after his young daughter.

Desperate to regain a sense of normalcy for both himself and his daughter Ava, Nolan participates in an experimental treatment conducted by acclaimed neuropsychiatrist Dr. Lillian Brooks, in an attempt to reverse his condition. Using a hypnosis-inducing device -- the titular Black Box -- she unearths lost memories which allow patients to experience them first-hand. 

But the memories he experiences reveal a much darker past than he anticipated. Even more terrifying is the disfigured creature that threatens to kill Nolan in his surreal dream-state. 'Black Box' promises to provide a glimpse into the haunting descent into one man’s shattered psyche, and raises some deep existential questions. 

Let’s take a look at the film’s star cast:

Mamoudou Athie as Nolan

Mamoudou Athie. (Getty Images)

The 32-year-old Mauritanian-American actor is best known for his roles in the films ‘The Circle’, ‘The Front Runner’, ‘Unicorn Store’, ‘Underwater’, and ‘Uncorked’. In television, his acting credits include shows like ‘The Get Down’, and ‘Sorry for Your Loss’.

The son of a diplomat father who received political asylum in the U.S., Athie grew up in New Carrollton, Maryland, and studied acting at the William Esper Studio, and later at the Yale School of Drama. 

Phylicia Rashad as Lilian

Phylicia Rashad. (Getty Images)

The 72-year-old American actor, singer, and stage director is known for her role as Clair Huxtable on ‘The Cosby Show’. It was a role that earned her Emmy Award nominations in 1985 and 1986. As a stage actor, she has a number of Broadway roles to her credit, including ‘Into the Woods’, ‘Jelly's Last Jam’, ‘Gem of the Ocean’, and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’. In 2004, Rashad became the first Black actress to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, which she won for her role in the revival of ‘A Raisin in the Sun’.

In films, Rashad’s acting credits include features like ‘For Colored Girls’, ‘Good Deeds’, ‘Loving Jezebel’, and more. More recently on television, she appeared in shows like ‘David Makes Man’, Empire’, and ‘ Do No Harm’.

Charmaine Bingwa as Miranda

Charmaine Bingwa. (IMDb)

The Zimbabwean-Australian actor, writer, and director began her career as a singer. However, while completing her Bachelor of Music, she took acting as one of her final electives. She won critical acclaim for her role in the play ‘Doubt: A Parable’, for which she received a Sydney Theatre Awards nomination. 

Bingwa made history becoming the first person of color to be awarded the Heath Ledger Scholarship in its ten-year duration. The judging panel included Matt Damon, Naomi Watts, Elizabeth Debicki, Rose Byrne, Carmen Cuba, and Jeremy Podeswa.

She also starred, wrote, produced & directed the series ‘Little Sista’. The series won several accolades including Best Screenplay at the LGBT Toronto Film Festival. 

‘Black Box’ also stars Amanda Christine as Ana, Tosin Morohunfola as Gary, Troy James as Backwards Man, and Donald Watkins as Thomas.

'Welcome to Blumhouse: Black Box' releases on October 6, only on Amazon Prime Video.