Black Christmas (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/12/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Despite some admirably gory bits, this is a disappointing horror remake that's neither as scary nor as funny as it thinks it is.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Glen Morgan (X-Files, Final Destination), Black Christmas is a remake of Bob Clark's 1974 classic, often cited as the first slasher movie. It stars Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Lacey Chabert as a group of sorority sisters who are targeted by a killer on Christmas Eve.

It turns out that their sorority house was once the home of fabled psychopath Billy Lenz (Robert Mann), who wreaked a horrific revenge on his abusive family. But Billy couldn't have escaped the nut-hatch and come home for Christmas…could he?

The Good
Lenz has a thing about eyeballs (eating them, using them as Christmas decorations etc) and some of the effects are very grisly indeed. Essentially, Morgan aims for a darkly comic tone that is similar to the Final Destination movies, only with added blood, guts and gore.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the tone doesn't quite come off, as it's wildly over the top and neither as scary, as suspenseful or as funny as it thinks it is. In addition, for a film about a house full of sorority girls getting killed, it's surprisingly low on scenes of girls running around in their underwear, which is surely some sort of genre staple?

The cast are extremely attractive and they do their best but they're also completely interchangeable, to the point where you don't care what happens to any of them. This is largely the fault of the script, which fails to give any of the characters much of a personality, save for house mother Mrs Mac (played, in a nice touch, by Andrea Martin, one of the stars of the original movie).

Worth seeing?
This is bound to be a hit with audiences seeking refuge from the glut of sentimental Christmas movies, but only gore-fans are unlikely to be disappointed.

Film Trailer

Black Christmas (18)
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Content updated: 16/07/2018 15:07

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