As was the case with the new CHILD’S PLAY movie released earlier this year—which I flat-out loved, by the way, enjoying it much more than I expected to—this remake of the 70s slasher flick BLACK CHRISTMAS is so radically different that it could have served just as well to title it something else altogether. While there are some clever homages to the original scattered throughout this film that astute fans will appreciate, this one stands on its own legs. I rather like this new trend concerning remakes. Why just do a retread of a movie that already exists? If you’re going to remake it, do something original with it. This BLACK CHRISTMAS certainly does that.
It really saddens me that I can’t rate the movie higher than I am, as for the most part I was thoroughly satisfied. The two exceptions, though, are big ones. There’s a major loose thread at the end, a big question left unanswered, and an even bigger problem occurs right at the beginning of the film when a character does something stupid, so stupid that it strains plausibility: when being stalked by one of the possessed (yes, there is a supernatural element to this one) killer frat boys, with her cellphone literally in her hand, she tries to phone a friend instead of dialing 911. This completely wrecked my suspension of disbelief, which fortunately I was able to regain.
They didn’t put the bow on the present at the end, though. Sure the movie, which is fully a Horror movie for the #metoo generation, did get a little preachy at times, but I didn’t so much mind that, considering how many films in this genre have featured female characters who are altogether useless outside of their sexuality. Them not telling us who their Big Bad was under his mask, though, that’s a biggie. Is he supposed to be the founder of the University, still alive somehow after all these years? Or is he meant to represent the patriarchy, a faceless conglomeration of toxic masculinity? Whichever, or neither, they didn’t make it clear. Combine that with the egregious example of the people-in-Horror-movies-always-make-poor-decisions trope early on and I have to drop what would have otherwise been an A+ effort an entire letter grade. This one gets a B+ due to some lazy oversights that could have been easily avoided. Still worth seeing and a lot of fun, just not perfect.