Written and directed by Courtney Glaude, BET’s ‘The Reading’ is a horror thriller movie that follows the spine-chilling story of recently widowed Emma Leeden (Mo’Nique), who, in her new book, ‘Invasion,’ describes how she lost her family in a tragic break-in. She consents to a staged reading by 19-year-old Sky Brown (Chasity Sereal) in her now-protected house to attract the press and increase publicity for the release of her book. The only issue is that the teenager’s psychic connection becomes real, and she opens a portal where true evil escapes and traumatizes the people trapped in the house.
The BET movie touches upon several seemingly realistic and familiar subjects, including death by home invasions and trauma experienced by people after the death of their loved ones, which forces them to make supernatural calls to the other world in hopes of talking to their late families. Besides, history proves that way more horrible and terrifying things have happened in real life, so it is valid for you to ask — is ‘The Reading’ inspired by actual events? Well, in that case, we have got you covered!
Is The Reading a True Story?
No, ‘The Reading’ is not based on a true story. Instead, the enthralling storyline can be credited to the creative mind and brilliant writing of Courtney Glaude. Previously, he has worked as a writer for several productions, including ‘Row,’ ‘Pit Stop,’ ‘BLINK,’ and ‘Amygdala.’ Thanks to his years of experience and exceptional pen skills, Glaude developed a thrilling and spine-chilling screenplay for the BET film. In an interview with Rolling Out Star Studios, he revealed his inspiration behind the film and spoke at length about his inspiration.
Glaude said, “The inspiration actually just started for something simple. It was just a moment. I was watching TV and saw this young medium named Tyler; he was a young kid back then. He was interviewing Bobby Brown but didn’t know who Bobby Brown was. So his reaction when he figured out who Bobby Brown was in shock. But how he looked, he was so surprised, but he looked shocked. So from that moment, I was like, ‘Oh, I want to write a script where I can get to that moment.’ My story just developed around that. So, in this particular family, we have Emma leading that part by Mo’Nique, and obviously, she went through something gruesome in her life, and we bring in Sky Brown, who will do her part as the medium.”
While talking about his inspiration behind the epic plot twist, the writer added, “One of my favorite writers and directors is M. Night Shyamalan, and I love the movie ‘The Sixth Sense.’ It is the movie that I saw that made me think that I could do this. When I saw that movie, I was like, ‘Oh, I think like that.’ So, M. Night has been my inspiration, and he is someone I have been a true fan of because I love how he tells a story. I also love Lee Daniels, who shows you that you don’t have to turn the camera away to show horrible things. So, with the mixture of those two and other people that I love, you get ‘The Reading.'”
The film also talks about deep-rooted realities that we find parallels in society. One of the main themes developed throughout the film is the trauma associated with home invasions and deaths due to the same. It is estimated by Forbes that, on average, over one million home burglaries happen annually in the U.S. Moreover, the trauma associated with home invasions is another significant theme explored in the film. Assault, rape, and death are some tragic consequences of home invasions. In addition, the psychological distress experienced by the living member/survivor is tremendous.
Hence, while the audience might feel the aspect of evil spirits being released into the world through a medium-gone-wrong process to be a hoax, what needs to be remembered is the psychological aspect that drives people to take such “irrational” measures just to be able to make contact with their lost loved ones. Considering everything mentioned above, it would be fair to say that although ‘The Reading’ imitates true-to-life elements, its story has nothing to do with reality.
Read More: Where Was The Reading Filmed?