Saturday, December 12, 2009


I don't understand why classic horror films are constantly being remade. If a movie is already scary and everyone loves it, why make a new, crappier version? But what I really don't understand is why I keep watching them....

Actually, Black X-mas isn't the worst remake I've ever seen. It's pretty entertaining.

It's Christmas Eve and many of the girls in the Delta Alpha Kappa sorority will be spending Christmas there. While exchanging Christmas gifts, they begin receiving prank phone calls and when Kelli's (Katie Cassidy) boyfriend, Kyle (Oliver Hudson), suddenly shows up, all the girls believe he's the one behind them. But when he tells them the story of Billy - the boy who used to live there and went crazy after his mother kept him locked up in the attic and killed his family - they start to believe that maybe he has come home for Christmas.

The plot is similar to the original Black Christmas, but has many differences. There is a lot of back story on the killer, Billy, whereas there was virtually none in the original. The problem between the main character and her boyfriend gets a 00's update with her watching an x-rated home movie of him and one of her sorority sisters on the internet.

Another major difference between the two films is the characters. The girl who is supposed to play Margot Kidder's part ends up being an irritating pukey drunk who isn't half as funny as Kidder was in the original. The main character, Kelli, is very bland compared to Olivia Hussey. And although it features Andrea Martin (Phyllis in the orignal) as the housemother, she doesn't compare to Mrs. Mac. All the girls in the sorority are uninteresting, cookie-cutter stereotypes.

But the acting is great and showcases a lot of young talent: Katie Cassidy (the new Melrose Place, When a Stranger Calls), Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Oliver Hudson (Rules of Engagement, The Breed), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3, The Ring Two), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five, Mean Girls), Crystal Lowe (Wrong Turn 2, Final Destiantion 3) and Kristin Cloke (Final Destination, Willard).

Although it doesn't live up to the original, it does have some creepy moments. My favourite scene is when Billy makes Christmas cookies from his mother's flesh.

And if you're looking for a very Christmas-y horror film you've found it. With the house decked out - tinsel everywhere, a wreath on every door, a huge Christmas tree and tons of lights on the outside of the house. Christmas-related objects are used for murder - a sharpened candy cane, an icicle, Christmas lights, etc. And lots of talk of Christmas traditions and a soundtrack with many Christmas songs.

The DVD has a lot of Special Features - an entire second DVD devoted to them. Including four alternate endings, deleted scenes and a featurette titled What Have You Done? The Remaking of Black Christmas, where I learned that the director of the original, Bob Clark, was a producer of this movie.

Overall, the Black Christmas remake has its moments and gets you in the Christmas spirit without resorting to watching something like It's a Wonderful Life.

Rating: 3/5

No comments: