Review this movie
JustinLJan 14, 2007I'm saying a 5 because they finally got it half right... the part that was half right was the gore. Finally a horror/slasher film, that ISN'T rated pg13. The other half was awful, the plot and characters felt thrown together.
Aug 13, 2010This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Black Christmas, the latest entry in a long thread of horror remakes, is no different than any other. Pointless and unnecessary, Black Christmas follows the plot of the original, without maintaing any sense of spook or scare which the first one offered (the longest chase scene displayed here was somewhere along 20 seconds).
Initially, the film seemed like a decent slasher film without many deficiencies. But after multiple viewings, and watching Bob Clark's stunningly macabre original take on the film, the reverence wears off, and the flaws start surfacing all but too blatantly obvious.
For one, the backstory and insight offered to the audience regarding our killer, Billy, had gallingly sunk the level of enigma and mystique surrounding the character so low until the antagonist had become nothing but a one-dimensional killer whose inevitable fall you would be awaiting ever so restlessly as the minutes crawl by. Though certainly, he could not have been any worse than the boneheaded stick figures Morgan had standing around like dishes in an all-eyeballs-you-can-eat buffet whose actions scream, "Kill me now!".
The exasperatingly predictable ending was so used and recycled over and over again that you'd be daft not to see the killer's encore in one brutal mortuary scene. I mean, come on, Hollywood! Spring for a new climax every once in a while.
Moving on, performances by the band of ogle-able eye candies were stodgy at times, although a few of the leads did not do all that badly as relative newcomers standing so close to the spotlight. Katie Cassidy and Crystal Lowe did good jobs, seeing as how this is the first time they possess screen times greater than 15 minutes. Although we've seen better from Michelle Trachtenberg and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, they're not to be blamed completely. On a second thought, all of them performed ably, considering the poorly-written screenplay they were forced to reenact.
However, not all is completely bad with the film. I, for one, remarkably found Black Christmas to be visually stunning and optically magnifect. It's a treat to the eyes, though not to the ears, as Shirley Walker's final score composition is not nearly as decent as could be, with the cues taking sharp turns up and down at supposedly "boo" moments (plus, one or two of them sounded like direct rip-offs from GarageBand). Nevetheless, the disorienting angles set up by Morgan is a job well done, as it gives the film a wonderful sense of eeriness and discomfort it would alternatively lack.
Black Christmas's entertaining use of over-the-top gory spectacle also ends up in favor with the film, as it provides a sort of "campy" style one might find difficult to see in slashers nowadays since most of them would prefer to obtain a PG-13 rating rather than give viewers their money's worth. Despite that, the film's just one more eyeball-pop away from being labelled "torture-porn". Therefore, Morgan has found just the right equilibrium that keeps the film's gore at hand. Additionally, there are quite a number of decent and memorable kills here. And on that note, I'd also like to direct my sincerest kudos to Morgan for an eerily horrifying flashback sequence, concerning a rolling pin, a cookie cutter and fresh milk.
The set and production designs were top-notch. They did a wonderful job in assuring that they get the feel and the look right. Although present sorority house may look comfy and cheerful, there's a hidden disquieting note, dubiously emphasized by excellent use of lightings. One more asset worthy to note is the film's short duration. Those not a fan of gore will only have to sustain 80 minutes of this film before the credits roll over. But then again, if you're not a gorehound, why even bother?
Despite Morgan's well intentions to recreate a strong slasher film from the 1970s, his visage of this re-imagination never succeeds to strike the right note. Regardless of some high points, Black Christmas is better off skipped, especially if you're not exactly a fan of carnage.… Expand
Feb 2, 2013The 2006 remake of BLACK CHRISTMAS was doomed to fail from the very beginning, and yet it is surprisingly one of the most entertaining entries the Slasher genre has seen in years! Glen Morgan never attempts to recreate the suspense and mystery of the original, and instead delivers an absurdly hilarious and over-the-top gorefest to bring some holiday cheer to Horror fans. Once again, theThe 2006 remake of BLACK CHRISTMAS was doomed to fail from the very beginning, and yet it is surprisingly one of the most entertaining entries the Slasher genre has seen in years! Glen Morgan never attempts to recreate the suspense and mystery of the original, and instead delivers an absurdly hilarious and over-the-top gorefest to bring some holiday cheer to Horror fans. Once again, the Delta Alpha Kappa house is receiving intimidating phone calls on Christmas Eve, the same night when a deranged psychopath killed his family at that very house years earlier. What they don't know is that Billy has escaped from the mental institute and returned home for the holidays! From the very beginning, we are introduced to both villains, which destroys the ambiguity of the original story. In doing so, however, we get to see the makings of these two insane killers in a series of twisted flashbacks. It is no wonder Billy turned into such a model citizen given his pathetic childhood and abusive mother. Back on the loose, he and his inbred daughter wreak terror on the dopey sorority sisters in an eye-popping extravaganza of bloody mayhem! Literally, eye-popping, eye-eating, eye-stabbing... Morgan has found more ways to gouge out people's eyes than anyone ever thought possible! All the while, the onslaught of violence is set to the ironic "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" as one idiot character is mercilessly killed after another. Robert Mann's infuriated performance as Billy earns some great laughs as he sets up the character's building rage, but thankfully the mindless sorority girls are quickly dispatched. A guilty pleasure to be sure, BLACK CHRISTMAS is too much fun to be tossed away with the other garbage Slasher remakes like SORORITY ROW or APRIL FOOL'S DAY. -Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies… Expand
It's debatable whether the original 1974 "Black Christmas" is, as its most rabid fans claim, the mother of all slasher movies. But there can be no argument regarding the scant merits of its slapdash, soporifically routine remake, suitable only for the least discriminating of gore hounds.