The original Black Christmas is one of my favorite horror movies. Probably a strong #2 on the list. Because of that I don’t expect a remake to come close to matching it. Especially after that horrible 2006 version. Wow, that was an abysmal movie. So, I went into this new remake of Christmas just hoping it would be an improvement.
In the movie, set at mythical Hawthorne College, a group of sorority sisters are staying on campus during the Christmas break. What they don’t realize is that a masked killer is stalking the grounds, murdering women one by one. It’s a pretty standard set up. But this version of Christmas takes a new feminist stance. We learn that main character Riley (Imogen Poots) was assaulted a few years ago at a fraternity party. Since then she’s been timid and unable to find her voice. As the film progresses, she begins to fight back against the dangerous men who are circling her and her sisters.
I liked idea of injecting a strong dose feminism into a horror movie. Unfortunately, the execution is weak. Writer & director Sophia Takal clumsily handles issues of toxic masculinity, #metoo, and patriarchy. It never really comes together. You feel like she is hitting bullet points rather than smoothly incorporating them into the story. Also, this is a horror movie that isn’t very scary at all. There’s a lack of suspense and thrills. Just a couple of jump scares. But then the worst thing is when the big twist is revealed towards the end. It’s just so damn dumb and completely takes the viewer out of the story.
While I appreciate the idea of a new approach to a classic, this one really missed the mark. However, it’s still ten times better than the shitty 2006 version. So, there’s that.