Black Christmas is an American slasher film, made in 2019. It was directed by Sophia Takal, and written by Takal and April Wolfe. You can check out the official website here.
In case you didn’t know, there are three movies called Black Christmas – the original, a Canadian film made in 1974, and a previous remake made in 2006.
The movie follows a group of sorority sisters at Hawthorne College as they are slowly picked off by an unknown stalker. The 2019 film stars Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O’Grady, Caleb Eberhardt, and Cary Elwes.
The film was released on December 13th, 2019 – which also happened to be a Friday. What timing!
And don’t worry – this review is spoiler-free.
I can’t say I went into this movie expecting much, so I can’t exactly say I was disappointed when it failed to rock my socks off. I haven’t had the pleasure of watching the previous two, but have read they are your stereotypical slasher films. In this remake, Takal and Wolfe have attempted to subvert the genre and typical “last girl” trope by really leaning in hard on the very serious theme of sexual assault, the #metoo movement, and the idea of a toxic patriarchy – which makes sense considering Takal says she drew inspiration from the Kavanaugh hearings.
I get the vision they were going for and fully support it, but the execution left much to be desired. The only male characters were either useless or villains. The two “good” male characters were simpering Clark Kent models that are just cringey to have onscreen.
I think the movie would have been so much better had they just reeled it back a bit. I’m all for powerful female characters and a subversion of the “final girl” but this just felt like I was having a political message jammed down my throat for the full first half of the movie (after that, it was at least interspersed with thrills and chills). The (sour) cherry on top was that the ending was a little lackluster and the dark arts element was a little silly, considering.
Putting all that aside, I did think the dialogue was pretty good and the sorority sisters were very realistic and likeable. There were some good satirical and comedic moments that at least helped me not feel like I wasted my money on movie tickets.
I had hoped to watch the original so that I could compare them both in this review but Amazon just removed it from their Prime offerings. Boo.
If you happened to have watched both, let me know how they compared in the comments below! I would love to know!
x P.L. McMillan