Glenn Morgan’s remake of the Bob Clark 1974 slasher film is one of most preposterous, blatantly awful films I’ve seen in the last two years. As a remake and as its own film, it’s awful. Director-Writer Morgan seems to aim for the exact opposite effect the original established, and does so through often hilarious methods of murders, and vague characterization. All the characters are loud, one-dimensional, and despicable, none of the actors give stand out performances, there’s an awfully predictable plot twist involving our killer, gross out gore for the sake of gross out gore. Of course, Billy uses every element of Christmas as a method of murder for his victims.
There’s gift wrap suffocation, Christmas tree impalings, candy cane stabbings, and the like, all of which makes up this vile committee made cinematic reworking. Folks like Mary Elizabeth Winstead (with a terrible faux-Southern drawl), Katie Cassidy, Lacey Chabert, and Michelle Trachtenberg ae capable of so much more, and worth starring in a much better film. They’re put to complete waste here, left to slum it in a series of one dimensional roles. All the while they’re propped up as lame cannon fodder for our boring villain. Glenn Morgan never has enough faith in suspense and imagination, that he feels he has to explain every single plot element to us.
We learn everything about Billy that the Bob Clark film was smart enough to keep enigmatic. Everything from why he kills, right down to his shoe size, there’s really no other reason for explaining and emphasizing these details other than to de-mystify the character for the sake of lame-brained audiences who don’t want to put the work in. To make it worse, nothing in the entirety of this production makes a lick of sense. Glenn Morgan’s direction is often utterly horrific, and soaks us in the Christmas aesthetic just to drive home that this is a remake. The Chrismas motif literally adds nothing, save for some lame gross out gags when Morgan gives us the villain’s back story in full detail.
The charm of the original was being left with questions like: Who was Billy? Who was Agnes? Now the only questions audiences will be left with are: “Can I have my money back?” A decade later, “Black Christmas,” is an embarrassing mess, and painfully stupid insult to a horror classic. It isn’t a slasher film, a horror movie, or a comedy. It’s barely even a movie.