Review: Black Christmas [2006]

Dir. Glen Morgan 

Cast: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert

Black Christmas follows a group of teenage girls who find themselves trapped in their sorority house on Christmas Eve, while a psychopath takes them out one by one – and not for Christmas dinner…

In 1974, Bob Clark, the man who brought us the cult favourite Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, released a small, blackly comedic film, which would have a major impact on the horror scene for years to come. Widely regarded as a classic, the original version of Black Christmas paved the way for the first generation slasher films such as Halloween and Friday the 13th.

Fast forward thirty-two years.
2007's remake gathered together some of the hottest actresses in the US, although unfortunately not hot in the acting department, this paint-by-numbers remake focuses not only on the plight of the victims, but also on the back-story of the villain (a suitably creepy yellow skinned Robert Mann). The backstory adds nothing, but to be fair, neither do the performances of any of the actresses.

The special effects team excel at the gouging and removal of eyes, and some of the set pieces are reasonably effective (the scene where Michelle Trachtenberg’s character is dragged kicking and screaming by her now-empty eye sockets is particularly well done). But the inclusion of copious amounts of gore and blood does not make up for the lacklustre direction, two-dimensional characters and distinct lack of humour.

The film has neither the originality and black humour of the 1974 version, nor the intelligence of many of the 1990s batch of slasher films, which means it is difficult to see what attracted the studio to invest in this pointless remake.

End result - avoid!

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