Just when you thought this year couldn’t possibly get any worse, you find yourself watching ‘Black Christmas’.
Let’s be honest. The 1974 original already wasn’t that great to start with. The story - which revolved around a couple of sorority girls receiving threatening calls and then getting picked off one by one by a mysterious masked killer - is pretty cliché by today’s standards. Not so much back in 1974 when this was one of the first slasher movies ever. Which is kind of the main reason people still remember it. Well, that and because it inspired John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’.
Did it warrant a remake? Not really. But since nobody asked us, we were treated to a pretty bad, gore-filled remake back in 2006. And now there is an even worse reimagining that absolutely no one was waiting for. Written by Sophia Takal and April Wolfe, the 2020 version of ‘Black Christtmas’ puts in a valiant effort to make the original plot more current by working in the #MeToo movement and toxic masculinity. Laudable? Sure.
Imogen Poots plays Riley, a student at Hawthorne College who was sexually assaulted by a complete frat douche who should already get his ass kicked because he is constantly chewing gum. The only thing kicked was him out of school while Rile became something of a pariah because people didn’t believe her. The movie starts off a year after the facts with Riley being fed up with hiding. So she and a couple of her sorority sisters attend a frat party and perform the holiday standard ‘Up on the Housetop,’ complete with updated lyrics about date rape.
The next day, most of the campus is almost deserted seeing as everyone has gone home for the holidays. Well, except for the masked killer who keeps sending his future victims text messages before stabbing them. Or shooting them with a bow and arrow because who knows why. Nothing too bloody though. Well, no blood at all actually except for the reference to a menstruation cup gone missing. Seeing as this one is PG-13, it is all very tame and ranks just slightly creepier than an episode of ‘Gossip Girl’. And then things unravel completely towards the end when it turns out there is actually more than one killer and that a supernatural hazing ritual is to blame for everything.