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  • Rev Horror

Black Christmas (2006)

Dir. Glen Morgan (2006)

A group of sorority sisters living in a murder house find themselves hunted by the same person who committed the initial murders.

I haven't made it a secret that I'm not a huge fan of the original Black Christmas (boo, hiss!), and part of that probably came because I didn't watch it for the first time until later in life. I'm willing to give it a pass, despite not thinking it's a particularly good movie, simply because of its important to the genre and, more importantly, the slasher subgenre that I hold closest to my heart. I have long heard the weeping and gnashing of teeth that often accompanies discussion of its 2006 remake, so I of course had to settle in and give it a shot. Perhaps it's because I didn't love the original, perhaps it's because I have less discerning tastes when it comes to slasher movies, but, you guys... it's really not that bad...

A group of sorority girls have gathered for Christmas as the only gals left when the rest of their friends went home. The house itself was once the scene of a grisly multiple homicide, a fact that is surprisingly embraced by the sorority to the extent that they buy Christmas presents to the killer every year. As bad of an idea as this seems, it becomes even worse when the killer escapes his mental institution and returns to reclaim his homestead, tearing through as many eyeballs and bleached blondes as he can to take back what is rightfully his. The bodies drop almost as often as the eye-rolling one-liners, and a group of terrible people get exactly what's coming to them.

I want to make something perfectly clear at the outset here: this is absolutely a terrible movie. The script is laughable, with some awful lines that I find it difficult to believe were said with a straight face. The backstory of the killer, a focal point that this film does not share with the original, is soap opera-level ridiculous, containing everything from incest to cannibalism. Black Christmas Remix is a cash grab holidy horror movie with a terrible story, a painfully obvious plot, and barely one-note acting performances. It's a bloody, formulaic slasher movie.

But guys... it's a bloody, formulaic slasher movie! It's filled with the types of bonkers choices that make up some of our favorite movies in the genre. The writers of the film made the bizarre and utterly nonsensical decision to make Billy (the killer in the film) have a liver condition that turned his skin orange. This is never explained, nor is it commented on beyond its introduction, and it in no way affects the plot. The aforementioned backstory, which culminates in Billy making Christmas cookies from pieces of his mother's flesh, is obnoxiously insane, making Mrs. Voorhees' decision to avenge her son's drowning death by killing a bunch of camp counselors decades later seem like a rational decision by comparison. The presence of a sister, who is immediately drawn into Billy's murderous plot despite being his first victim and having no communication with him for decades, is bizarre and almost asinine, seemingly there only for the purposes of having two people to increase the bloodshed.

And yet, despite everything I've just written, it somehow works? It's brutal as hell, with the gore far exceeding the original film. It's got a fantastic cast, all of whom are naturally wasted on the drivel within but are nice to see regardless. The film features Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3, 10 Cloverfield Lane), Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls), Katie Cassidy (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Kristen Cloke (Final Destination), Yan-Kay Crystal Lowe (Final Destination 3), and Andrea Martin (the original Black Christmas). Granted, most of these women aren't known for much more than the films I just listed, but they're still recognizable faces to the horror faithful who somehow ended up in this film. Beyond all this, the film is just wildly entertaining, especially if you can get past the negative reviews.

It's also a phenomenally stupid movie, with multiple unresolved Checkov's guns and almost no redeeming cinematic value. But as someone who appreciates the sort of ridiculous, throwback slasher flick that Black Christmas Remix claims to be, I didn't hate this one nearly as much as I'm supposed to. It's delightfully deranged, viciously bloody, and has absolutely no reverence for the original flick despite director Glen Morgan's friendship with Bob Clark. And I'm all the way here for it. If you can look past the hate and view it for what it is, which is a completely unhinged modern slasher that shares the Hooters motto of being delightfully tacky, yet unrefined, you might actually be able to have a good time with it.

Who this movie is for: Slasher fans, Remake lovers, Christmas cookie devotees

Bottom line: Despite being a completely irreverent remake of the cult classic original film, Black Christmas 06 is a super fun slasher with buckets of blood and some truly ridiculous plot points. I get the hate, because it is definitely a terrible movie, but it is also an enjoyable watch for anyone who can suspend their disbelief and just enjoy the madness. Filled with great actors giving terrible performances and an utterly baffling script, Black Christmas is just the kind of ridiculous, campy nonsense that you need in your life. Just don't expect Bob Clark's chilling classic, because there is absolutely none of that film in this one.

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