Saturday, December 25, 2010

Black Christmas remake love bitches!

I'm sitting here at 3AM watching one of my favorite christmas films -  and one of my guilty pleasure horror flicks - Black Christmas.  Not the Bob Clark original. The 2006 remake.  Yes all you hateful bitches, I love the remake.  I love it better than the original. In fact, I'll be so sacrilegious as to say I thought the original was... well... a bit dull. John Carpenter did a much better job of Black Christmas with his Halloween (which incidentally was supposed to be a sequel to Clark's film). The remake is much better paced, has some very creative gore gags, and doesn't take itself too seriously. It has a wicked sense of humor that was sorely lacking in the original.

The plot?  Pretty much the same. Billy Lenz escapes from the asylum and stalks a bunch of sorority girls living in the house where he once committed his ghastly deeds. Much deadness ensues. What did they improve on? Well, the first was all tension and mood, which when done right has a heavy impact. Mood and tension are definitely lost here.  But director Glen Morgan (an X-Files alum) replaces the tension with gore and humor.  Seriously, there's a lot of fun grue in this flick. There's stabbings aplenty, impalements, strangulations, fleshy gingerbread cookies, scalpings by ice skate, and enough eye trauma to make Lucio Fulci proud.

Also, as mentioned before, the flick has a great sense of humor. Sure, unlike the '74 BC, its hard to like any of these sorority bitches (except Andrea Martin, who starred in the original and cameos here) but that makes their deaths all the more enjoyable. Plus, they take a creative approach to the use of cell phones. In most modern horror flicks, the use - or uselessness - of cell phones is usually explained by "oh, no service" or some other lame excuse.  In this movie, not only do cell phones work, but they are used by the killer to stalk and torment his prey. In the original, Billy made a few crank calls to the house's old rotary.  In the remake, Billy steals each victim's cell and uses them to terrify and confuse each new target.  Sure, there are other plot holes, but the fact that the producers dealt with a common horror cliche in such a creative manner was refreshing.

The film is not without its flaws.  In typical remake fashion, they spend way too much time giving the killer a backstory to explain his motives.  Couldn't we just leave it at "Billy went nuts and killed his family"? Instead, the producers felt it necessary to tack on a whole abusive mom angle. Plus there's a whole incest scene i could have done without.  In a film with, for the most part, a great sense of black humor, the family drama felt out of place.

Also, once nice thing about the original was that they kept the killer hidden for the most part.  Just like his origin story, we see way too much of Billy for him to be as menacing as he was in the '74 version.

But these are minor flaws in a great no-brains, popcorn munching, dumb-ass yuletide horror flick. If you've always wanted to decorate your x-mas tree with guts and eyeballs, this is the perfect seasonal treat for you. Pop this on with Santa Slay and rot your brain.

As our Bad Santa Kyle would say, "HO HO MOTHERFUCKIN HO!" Happy Horrordays y'all!

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