BLACK CHRISTMAS (2006)

0.5 Stars
Year Released: 2006
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 84 minutes
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“I see it as more of a sequel than anything. It wasn’t meant to be a serious movie. They weren’t trying to top the original. It’s more of a spoof than a horror movie. It’s an intentional throwback to the dumb eighties slashers. It’s exploitation, not really serious horror. It’s not supposed to be good, it’s a slasher movie!”

After revelations that the UK was given a different print of “Black Christmas” than the US, the few who enjoyed “Black Christmas 2006” are still hanging strong on their convictions (read: denial) that botching this remake was indeed intentional, and a clever little joke from Dimension and Glen Morgan. But for a film that’s only made 17 million worldwide since its release on Christmas, it’s clear to even those who enjoyed this film that, “Black Christmas” was one of the biggest disasters of 2006. I mean, there was so much hype for nothing more than a film filled with no name semi-talented television actors who aren’t even listed in the trailers, inadvertent comedy, and every mystery of the original explained and explored in some of the most unimaginative ways.

“Black Christmas” is, now, thankfully in the group of “When a Stranger Calls,” “The Wicker Man,” and “The Fog” as a soon-to-be infamous bad remake of a good film. Blame whoever you want, but at the end of the day, the fault for this lies on you, the audience, who powered these remakes to financial success, paving the way for even more run of the mill rehashes. We have no one to blame but each other, so put your finger away and start kicking yourself.

Wong’s remake is one of most preposterous, blatantly awful films I’ve seen in the last two years, because he never has enough faith in suspense and imagination, that he feels he has to explain every single plot element to us. We learn everything about Billy, from why he kills, how he kills, his sudden cannibalism, right down to his shoe size, and there’s really no other reason for this than to de-mystify the character for the sake of lame-brained audiences who don’t want to put the work in. To make it worse, nothing in the entirety of this production makes a lick of sense.

Wong, whose direction is often utterly hackneyed, leaves nothing for the audience to decide for themselves, and that’s a shame. The charm of the original was being left with questions like: “Who was Billy?” “Who was Agnes?” “Did Jessica get killed in the end?” Now the only questions audiences will be left with are: “Why God? Why?!” “Does Dimension hate us?” and “Can I have my money back?”

As a remake and as its own film, it’s awful. Billy’s motives are explained in a hilariously predictable back story about an incestuous mother, skin cookies, and gouging eyeballs. And to top the cake, Billy is a well known urban legend by all the characters in the sorority house, and is explained in meticulous detail in the first fifteen minutes by the ill-fated Andrea Martin. I wish I could find humor in this film, but I sat watching this byproduct of studio interference, focus groups, deceptive marketing, awful writing, and misguided direction, and gazed in sheer disbelief the whole time.

Wong seems to aim for the exact opposite effect the original established, and does so through often hilarious methods of murders, and vague characterization. All the characters are loud, one-dimensional, and despicable, none of the actors give stand out performances, there’s an awfully predictable plot twist involving our killer, gross out gore for the sake of gross out gore, and of course, Billy uses every nuance of Christmas as a method of murder for his victims. Gift wrap suffocation, Christmas tree impaling, candy cane stabbings, and the like, all make up this bile little film.

Religious controversy my ass, “Black Christmas” shouldn’t have been released on any day, of any year, of any century, because it’s an embarrassing mess, every single C list actor in the cast will anxiously wipe from their resumes in the next year. Watch Mary Elizabeth Winstead attempt a faux-Southern drawl, watch Michelle Trachtenberg basically contribute nothing except add a lure for the “Buffy” fans, and watch a man be impaled by a conveniently placed Christmas tree, oh the hilarity.

Don’t kid yourselves, folks. “Black Christmas 2006” is neither horror, nor comedy. It’s barely even a movie. Merry Christmas, motherfuckers. You brought this on yourselves.



Posted on February 1, 2007 in Reviews by
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