Black Christmas Review

Poster Art Country : USA
Year: 2006
Genre: Slasher
Format: Cinema
Running Time: 84 minutes
Distributor: Dimension

A group of sorority sisters snowed in at Christmas are terrorized by a crazed killer who was traumatized in the house as a boy in this re-working of Bob Clark's stalker classic....

Directed by Glen Morgan. Screenplay by Glen Morgan, based on an original work by Roy Moore. Starring Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert, Kristen Cloke, Andrea Martin, Crystal Lowe, and Oliver Hudson..

Black Christmas is not a remake of the 1974 Bob Clark movie with the same title. Rather, it is the millionth version of every run of the mill slasher film you have ever seen a million times done badly. The only thing this movie has in common with the previous Black Christmas is the killer's name, which is Billy.

Unlike the Clark classic, this movie doesn't focus on the victims, it really focuses on the killer, which takes away the horror. Another bunch of gorgeous sorority college kids get snowed in on Christmas blah, blah, blah.... As soon as we see the grisly back story of the house, you know they will die one by one via increasingly violent executions.

A group of unwitting sorority sisters are soon be terrorized by a madman.

Black Christmas tells the story of a young boy named Billy. He is locked in the attic of his home by his mother and her lover. One day Billy breaks out of his musty attic and murders them. In present day, eight girls, and their house mother, find themselves living in Billy's old home, now a sorority house. Billy decides to come home for the Holiday season, and hides away in a familiar attic. Through the night, the house receives obscene phone calls, and the sorority girls start to go missing.

A bag over the head will cure those nasty hiccups....NOT!

Turning the title into a pun may be the most original idea the writer, Glen Morgan, thought of, and it sets up a decent finale. The twist however is quite lame and I had it figured out during the first flashback.. or maybe it was the second. This film suffers from way too many flashbacks and too much backstory. That's really what made the original so scary. The lack of backstory and the focus on the killer in the house, but you never really knew why. Unfortunately, the overriding outlet for creativity that splatter fests offer filmmakers lies in setting new limits for gore and sadism. Black Christmas doesn't unsheathe its glass unicorn horns immediately, but once it cuts loose the blood lust pales in comparison to other remakes like The Hills Have Eyes or even The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There are some good kills, but I was expecting a lot more. The violence at some points tries to go over the top and it winds up overshooting the story's logic.

With personalities paltry even for a slashers targets, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michelle Trachtenberg, Katie Cassidy, Kristen Cloke, Lacey Chabert, Oliver Hudson, and Andrea Martin all do just fine, but it was really Andrea Martin that won me over. It was good to see her in the film as it was a reminder of the original. But that's about it.

My final word... MEH... it was okay. Nowhere near the greatness of the original, but it was fun. It had some good gore and it was nice to see the nods to the original, like Clark University and of course Andrea Martin, some of the kills etc.... But otherwise, it was a very uninspired Final Destination-y type showcase for gory kills.


Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com

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