Black Christmas

Black Christmas


Reviewed by: Chris

A poster tagline for Black Christmas runs "Last Christmas you gave me your heart - this year I want your eyeballs." A script based on that could conceivably have something to recommend it. My mind wanders to such low-budget modern classics as Troma's Terror Firmer, where two versions of a victim's brains are pan-fried - one on drugs and one without. But the phrase was a story description written by someone else. Someone with more imagination than these filmmakers. This movie is as black as your poo after food poisoning - although your poo might claim to be more interesting.

Sadly, for all its intended homage to the 1974 movie of the same name, writer-director Glen Morgan's roots are firmly in less surgically well-honed slashers like Final Destination. Although the FD series was far from brilliant, it took a reasonably novel idea and served it up to bloodlust fans sufficiently well for them to demand further helpings. Black Christmas, on the other hand, loses its way between schlock horror and recognisable cult storyline very quickly.

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A group of sorority girls are terrorised in an old house by a lunatic escaped from the asylum. He has a penchant for gouged eyeballs. At this point it could still be a decent film if it hadn't ended up so cluttered and appallingly put together. A predictable script has comic lines such as "I'd like to bury the hatchet with my sister..." (dramatic pause) "right in her head!" Wow! did I see that one coming? - I'm afraid I did. Sets have as little imagination as the script, with psycho Billy peering through holes in walls, floors and ceiling to try and glimpse the girls undressed. The girls are not very bright and the only good guy makes secret porn videos and carries a flick knife. If taken to caricature it might have succeeded, but Black Christmas doesn't have a tenth of the sophistication of the very worst of the Scream movies.

If watching it wasn't painful enough, the sound levels at the screening I went to were sufficient to cause severe discomfort. The cinema (which boasts quality equipment) cannot be entirely blamed: some of the conversations sounded as if they had been spat into a microphone at too close range.

You need to be very desperate for a slasher fix to sit through Black Christmas. In a spirit of dedication, I sat through the end of the credits for any bonus scenes so I would have something interesting to report. There weren't any. The best thing about this film is not the ending but the fact that it ends.

Reviewed on: 07 Dec 2006
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Black Christmas packshot
Remake of the original festive 1974 slasher horror flick.
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Paul Griffiths *

Director: Glen Morgan

Writer: Glen Morgan, based on Roy Moore's 1974 screenplay

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Robert Mann, Andrea Martin, Kristen Cloke, Oliver Hudson, Lacey Chabert Jessica Harmon, Leela Savasta, Karin Konoval

Year: 2006

Runtime: 84 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Canada/USA


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