Throughout the month of December, we will be highlighting a film a day that has some tie into the holiday somehow. Some titles will be obvious, others won’t be. Some films will be good and, again, others won’t be. However, we think all titles are worth your time whether to give you chills inside your home or to make you drink more eggnog until you puke laughing.
Christmas Eve maniac Billy Lenz escapes from the Clark Sanatorium. After murdering his family 15 years ago to the day, he’s ready to move back home. His family home in which he was imprisoned has become a sorority house. The house mother (Andrea Martin) is ready for the Secret Santa gift exchange. Kelli (Katie Cassidy) will be spending the holiday at the house because her job needs her. The rest of the fodder, I mean girls, are going home… in body bags. It seems Billy has a new family to murder this season. Oh, and of course there’s threatening phone calls and weird sounds coming from the attic.
The biggest problem with the Black Christmas remake is the need to over explain everything. The amount of exposition needs two people to tell it. In the original there was no information given about the identity of the killer. The increasing calls would peel back a layer, but the viewer is left to figure it out on their own. And being “updated for modern audiences” it’s sure to add taboo subjects like incest and cannibalism. The fact that after murdering his mother, Billy took a cookie cutter and made flesh cookies isn’t disgusting. It’s laughable. The gore is upped quite a bit. I was really confused by the blood splatter that kept happening. Almost like popping a gore filled balloon off camera. I’ll give credit that it is oddly watchable.
This is not director Glen Morgan’s first remake. He also directed the Willard remake three years earlier, which is great. And the difference between this remake and Willard is that movie was intended for an adult audience. It, and Silent Night, can coexist with their original counterparts. This Black Christmas was made for teens who would never watch the original because it’s an older movie. I avoided this remake for years because I felt it was unnecessary. Waiting almost a decade later softened my stand, but couldn’t change the fact that I was right.