Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 11: Black X-Mas

For the last few years I always do a 31 days of Halloween month. The past few years I re-read all the original Goosebumps books and before that I'd watch 31 horror movies. However I realized every single time I watched 31 Horror movies I exclusively picked ones I enjoyed. I decided to do something slightly different. I composed a list of every horror movie I owned and put them in alphabetical order. Then using a random number generator I generated 31 numbers and watched the movies that corresponded with those numbers. Some are great films and others… well… are less than fun let's say. I hope you enjoy!

Day 11: Black X-Mas (Movie #51)

Let me preference this write up by saying that I think the Original Black Christmas is without argument one of the top 10 best/most important/scariest/etc Horror movies of all time. It is a perfectly executed horror-mystery with a frighteningly open ended conclusion. Black X-Mas is none of those things.

Now does that mean I disliked this movie? Not at all. I have a genuine love for this remake but its in the same way I love something like Sleepaway Camp. Every death is so over the top, there's icicles falling through faces, ice skates and candy canes used in place of knives and a plot involving making human flesh cookies. If this movie was meant to be taken seriously they fucked up big time, if this was meant to be an over-the-top fun and gory slasher than A+ to everyone involved.

The plot line to this remake is mostly faithful to the original premise. A group of sorority girls are tortured by a crazed man in their house who keeps calling them. The modernization of things (like cell phones) take away part of the terror.

One of the biggest changes is that throughout most of the original no one knew there was a killer in the house. They assumed girls had left home for the holidays early and they were getting prank phone calls. This film they're well aware there's a killer in the house, which begins raising the question of why are they looking for this guy instead of just leaving (or calling the cops on their cell phones that obviously work).

The other mistake in this film is revealing Billy and giving him a backstory. What terrified me most in the original Black Christmas is (SPOILER ALERT) never knowing who it was that was doing these things.

As far as remakes go this isn't terrible but it certainly isn't particularly good. But I remember having a blast when I saw it in theaters. The fact that I'm still able to enjoy it all these years later is a nice bonus. 

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

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