Find The Black Christmas Film Review Now
September 27, 2010 by Jaime Lopez
This fun fright-fest was a wonderful surprise from what I was initially anticipating. This is another horror reprise (from the folks behind ‘Final Destination’ – great film), but not like so many others; it did manage to come up trumps; such as ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ This can be a remake of Bob Clarke’s 1974 classic slasher movie, ‘Black Christmas’; which really came four years before John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’. Some fans lay claim that it was the original slasher flick.
Externally, this looks like just yet another of your fundamental ‘there’s a psycho hacking up a bunch of beautiful girls, who are running up the stairs instead of from the door,’ and to a certain extent that is correct, it is the way this is conveyed which is interesting and enticing to view.
The story: crazed killer, Billy Lenz, runs away from his psychiatric ward and is determined to make it to his childhood home, where he was abused, by Christmas. Problem is, it’s actually years later and the house is now a Sorority house. It is Christmas Eve and a who’s who of teen/horror girl stars are there to welcome him, including Melissa (Michelle Trachtenberg , ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ fame), Heather (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, ‘Final Destination 3′), Dana (Lacey Chabert, ‘Mean Girls’) and Kelli (Katie Cassidy, ‘When a stranger calls’ remake.)
This film is basically pretty good, it features a constant sensation of being watched that runs right through it and adds a sparkle to the scares, and the tension is kept high. The actresses, although expressing some awful lines at times, also say some good ones. The acting is good, and because the majority of the leading ladies are stars, and many of them horror stars, the audience is not going to guess which one is going to make it to the rolling credits. The story-line builds well, and there’s a mounting tension, as the killer initially phones the girls, and then starts to eliminate them.
A comparable storyline to the original ‘Halloween’, with a monster coming home for the holidays, there are also many similar P.O.V shots of the killer, watching the girls throughout the house. The Christmas theme bleeds in nicely with the plot, and it comes across in places (especially, the flash-backs to Billy Lenz’s childhood) like something, director, Tim Burton, would dream up. The film gets darker and darker as we move through it, with some very violent scenes, and the music by Shirley Walker is great; capturing horror and Christmas all in one twisted melody. Also, the use of red and green lighting throughout (owed to Christmas) is very cool, and generates a great atmosphere.
Because of it being set in a Sorority house, and this no longer being 1974, some of the dialogue just doesn’t cut it. I can’t imagine several girls’ staying in the home with a crazed serial killer, just because they can’t discover their ‘sorority sister,’ believable in 2007 – sad, but true. There is, sadly, the customary shower scene, but it’s used for scares, not thrills, and so it works.
Immediately you can tell, this isn’t your usual run of the mill slasher, it actually has a back story, and we do find ourselves caring for some of the characters, for example, Kelli, played by Katie Cassidy is great; plus if you hated ‘Dawn’ in ‘Buffy the vampire slayer’ – you are going to love this motion picture.