Monday, December 13, 2010

Black Christmas (2006) - 3/5

Did I miss the memo? When the hell was the remake of "Black Christmas" supposed to actually be fun (in a horror sort of way)? Why didn't anyone tell me that this 2006 remake of a slasher classic was actually going to be a blast to watch? Seriously. All you critics and fans should be ashamed for not cluing me into this massively over the top rendition. Although the movie isn't good, especially compared to its source material, it had balls enough to know it and run with it. Making for a flawed, but darkly humorous trip into ridiculousness. Let's open this gory present up!

A group of sorority girls in a remote house (what the hell would a sorority move their houses into the fucking boonies for?!) find themselves stuck in the house when a massive blizzard prevents a few of the last ones from actually trekking home. Unfortunately, a little ghost story about a boy who lived in the house prior (whose inbred tale of family abuse and oddities make for a "fun" movie on its own) seemingly comes true when Billy escapes a mental institution and decides to come home for Christmas. You thought the scariest thing in a sorority house was the bitchy girls? Well Billy might just change your mind. Who will survive? How will they stop this killer? Who cares really? Let's for for a slay ride!

I'll be the first to admit. This really isn't a good horror movie. You don't give two shits about any of the characters. What little character work they do with them is irrelevant in the end and anything resembling clever plot points comes off as eye rolling idiotic. The charming part about "Black Christmas" is that it seemingly knows how bad it is. It then embraces it. And fucking runs with it full speed down the B-movie cave straight into hell. This is what works about the film and, honestly, its a blast to watch for this one reason.

When your killer in the film has yellow skin because of some sort of kidney defect, its hard to take it seriously. But if that doesn't tell you how ridiculous they made this film, then you should probably just quit reading now. If you can't take the bad then just go home. Make some cookies (not from your dead mother mind you) and enjoy your snow and lights. Leave this alone. This film truly embraces its over the top story. We have all kinds of odd eyeball shots (camera shots and with heavy sharp utensils shots), ridiculous coloring of reds, greens, and yellows courtesy of Christmas lights that are over bright, and an acting cast of complete nitwits whom only ham up the experience further. It's so out there that it had to be intentional. If it wasn't, then it would lose 2 stars from my rating.

Despite its gory over the top slasher qualities that are done in exponential form, the film does pretty much suck. It tends to fall apart towards the end as it tries to be more clever than it is and takes an almost serious tone about 'family'. It also seemingly never ends as it drags itself from the house to a hospital for its final act. It's these more serious moments, thrown in to counterbalance the outrageousness, that make it even less of a film than it could have been.

Here's the deal though. Take "Black Christmas" with a grain of salt because if you do, then you will have a riot watching it in all of its ironic glory. Don't expect it to be at all like the original (cause it basically just steals the foundation that's all) and just have a good time. It wasn't intended to change your life for the better in any way. It's campy. It's fun. Enjoy it for what it is. Have yourself a new Christmas tradition.

BONUS RANT: The DVD copy that I have is titled "Black X-Mas" on the box. They should have used this for the film too as it aptly and more appropriately conveys its less than serious manner and takes it a bit further away from its source material. It would have been a smarter choice to describe its intent, I believe.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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