Black Christmas

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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Director: Glen Morgan

Horror movies can be a strange fiend. Sometimes it can grab you, scare you out of your wits and have you jumping at shadows when you leave the dark confines of your local cinema. Or it will just leave you feeling rather silly, almost wishing that you were one of the victims in the movie that were lucky or unlucky enough to gain an early exit.

Images of sharp objects such as corkscrews and scissors are some of the first images we see. The action is centred at a frat house full of women, the obvious species from the human race that is perfect and ripe for a serial killer to show off his anti-social skills. These mostly easy on the eyes bunch of frat sisters are either waiting for family members to take them home for Christmas while others will be spending it there with their housemother Mrs Mac (Andrea Martin). By this time we see the housemates lounging around, getting drunk and bitching about each other to the point that they all could not start dying quick enough.

Billy, the local serial killer locked up in a nut house, escapes but not before he has killed three people on his way out of the building. Now while all this has been happening, back at the frat house, some of the girls are being killed off. In fact, the initial murder occurs within the first couple of minutes of the movie so who could possibly be performing these terrible acts of violence when Billy is locked up miles away? Well, for those who have packed away their brain, placed it in a box and attached a “do not open till next Christmas” tag to the box, you will be able to guess who the in-house killer is.

As usual with a no-brainer horror movie, potential victims split up to investigate strange sounds or look for their missing colleagues. The end result is obvious. An interesting fact to this movie is that the only well written character in BLACK CHRISTMAS is Billy, the serial killer. We get to see Billy’s background story at specific events in his life which explains his behaviour.

The surprising thing about this movie is that considering writer/director Glen Morgan and producer James Wong are attached to this project – best known as the main force behind some of the more memorable episodes during the early years of THE X FILES and the creative force of the FINAL DESTINATION series – BLACK CHRISTMAS, a remake of a 1974 movie, comes across as amateur hour. There is no suspense as each set piece does not surprise or shock. The original movie might have been ahead of its time when it was first released, but this remake is just thread over what we have seen in horror movies during the past twenty years. With a young cast that should have gotten young men’s blood pumping, BLACK CHRISTMAS is not sexy and is in fact dull and disappointing.

1 out of 6 stars