- Written and Directed by Glen Morgan
- December 15, 2006 (UK) / December 25, 2006 (US)
A group of college students are snowed in at their sorority house before Christmas and stalked by vicious killers.
Truthfully I am not sure why they made this. The original was something special in its time but has been copied so much since that it has lost its luster. Usually classics or films considered classics maintain something special about them even if they have been repeatedly copied. Frankenstein and Dracula and The Mummy have all been done and redone in one form or another for decades but the originals still have a certain level of magic. Black Christmas not so much which brings me back to my question: why make this movie?
The original Black Christmas is considered a bit of a classic though I do not see it. And as I said before that is probably because what they did there has been copied in so many successive films. The idea behind a remake, though I do not necessarily support them, should be to fix what was wrong with the original. Even great films have at least one thing that could be done better.
One change is that we get a significant amount of background on the killer. A lack of background on the killer in the original was not a flaw. Previously the killer had killed just for the sake of killing. There was no motivation given which is something that is vastly more effective than a killer with a motivation no matter how screwed up that motivation may be.
Here our killer is named Billy Lenz (Robert Mann) who was born with severe jaundice and was constantly abused by his mother (Karin Konoval). Billy returns to his childhood home which now happens to be the sorority house. And it is not just Billy doing the killing. It is Billy’s sister Agnes (Dean Friss) who is inbred because Billy’s mom slept with Billy to conceive her. Having Agnes played by a guy just made the idea, well, stupid. It was just one big joke.
One of the more successful elements of the original film is that the killer survives. Somehow all the police officers prowling around that house miss him. Here while the body count is high the killers are most certainly dealt with in the most over the top fashion possible. That is not an improvement.
Black Christmas 2006 appears to be aiming for campy. It is also trying to be gory and over the top and in that aspect it succeeds. Characters in this version make notoriously bad decisions. It feels as if every cliché bad decision that could be made in a horror movie is made here. The biggest of which is to stay in the building where the killer obviously is. If you can get out then get out!
One meta connection between the original and this film is Andrea Martin. In the ’74 film she played Phyllis “Phyl” Carlson and here she is cast as housemother Ms. Mac. I kinda wish they had played that bit up rather than ignore it in the film. As goofy as this movie got, a nod to her connection to the original would have been just fine. A one off line would have worked. Just one mistake of many here.
You need to at least be interested in what happens to the characters in any movie. You do not necessarily have to like them but their fates need to matter to the viewer. Not so here. There is just nothing to make them interesting enough to want to know what happens. You are not hoping they survive or die. As shallow and vapid as they generally are you just hope they shut up.
I guess that is because I was just indifferent to everything that happened. Once it became clear that the story was not going to be that interesting I watched for the gore. I am an 80s kid and often that’s what you did watch the horror movies for back then.
The characters in Black Christmas 2006 are bland. The direction is dull. The story is quite bad and its execution is ludicrous. There is no tension or excitement or much of anything.
In the end this remake of Black Christmas is nothing special. It is worth watching for the gore but not for much else. I will give this a skip it!