Luke McWilliams gives his verdict on the 2019 slasher film, Black Christmas directed by Sophia Takal. The film is a loose remake of the 1974 film of the same name.
On the cusp of the Christmas holiday break at Hawthorne College, a young female student is murdered by a masked figure. Flash over to the next morning where MKE sorority sisters Riley (Imogen Poots), Jesse (Brittany O’Grady), Kris, Marty and Helena prepare to take part in the AKO fraternity talent show, the same fraternity founded by the misogynistic Caleb Hawthrone, headed by the sexist Professor Gelson (Carey Elwes) and host society of Riley’s past abuser.
1974’s Black Christmas was an influential slasher film. Starring a young Margot Kidder (1980’s Lois Lane), the movie was one of the first slashers, predating the Friday the 13th, Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street film franchises. It was notable for using the Christmas holiday period as a setting for slasher shenanigans and for not revealing the slasher’s identity or their motives.
This remake is linear with no mystery and therefore no intrigue. Our leads all share the same voice of its writer/director, who reportedly tried to make the movie as feminist as she could. This message, unfortunately, is extremely blunt and forced to the point of patronising.
Black Christmas is also quite boring, with the motive and identity of our killer given away far too early in the piece. The decision to edit out the death scenes to gain a lower rating was also a big mistake.
Verdict: A boring, by the numbers preachy remake. Easily the worst movie that has played in recent cinema.
Black Christmas – 1 star.