Black Christmas (2006)

December 14, 2016 - 2:32pm | Ryan Tutolo

Your rating: None Average: 6 (2 votes)
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Glen Morgan
Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Katie Cassidy, Oliver Hudson, Lacey Chabert, Crystal Lowe, Andrea Martin, Jessica Harmon, Kristen Cloke

Even the small precious subset of Christmas horror movies are not immune from the plague of the modern remake. We’ve already covered the original Black Christmas on Day 3 so let's see if this is one of those rare occasions where the remake actually holds up. The overall plot isn’t much different from the original. A group of sorority sisters are being stalked and killed by a psycho. It also turns out it’s Christmas and the killer has been making disturbing phone calls to the house to further antagonize the women of Delta Alpha Kappa trapped inside by the snow storm.

While the overall plot remains similar, the execution is where the remake really defines itself. Instead of the grand mystery of the killer in the original, they throw that right out the window in the first 5 minutes. We learn that the killer’s name is Billy Lentz and he escapes from the Clark Sanatorium (a nice nod to director Bob Clark of the original.) We learn Billy’s entire background from his disfiguring yellow skin, his abusive rapist mother, and his original killing spree that resulted in the slaughter of his mother and stepfather. I don’t like that all the mystery of the killer is removed and with it goes some of the suspense we had in the original.

The biggest positive of the 70s flashbacks is surely the lighting and colors they use. In fact the lighting throughout the entire movie is fantastic. I love the Christmas colors and the way they're used to accent the mood of any scene. This really is a beautiful looking movie, and that’s not something you see in remakes very often.

The kills are pretty fun in this one. There’s a lot of eyeball play and some nice practical gore effects. There’s never really any looming terror, instead shock value is prized over all else. The audience is to be kept at unease with topics of incest and cannibalism tossed in. Bonus points for trashing Christian values and bringing up sex tapes and drinking so much a character pukes. This one certainly is heavy on the trashiness, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, all the charm and variety amongst the characters that the original had is gone. What’s left is a cast of unlikable jerks that I really can’t relate to and aren’t diverse enough for me to tell apart. The main character stands out, mostly because I like her in Arrow, other than that, I couldn’t name a single character in this movie other than Ms. Mac.

The other major problem is that the movie doesn’t end when it should. I think the movie should have finished off with the house fire or maybe in the morgue for a final jump, the actual ending is glutinous. The hospital scenes seem to be padding  to extend the movie unnecessarily.

Sex tapes, drunken incest, liver diseases, cannibalism, and icicle through the eyeball; Black Christmas has it all. Though, it honestly feels a little over-indulgent. The plot and mystery are all sacrificed for more gratuitousness. It’s not bad but doesn’t have the charm or sincerity of the original.

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Ryan Tutolo's picture
Ryan Tutolo is a horror movie lover and host of the UHM Podcast. Follow him on Twitter and let him know why his reviews suck!




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