Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Black Christmas (2006)
Hunkering down on a stormy Christmas eve, the women of Alpha Kappa Gamma sororiety house are drinking wine, trading sarcasm, and generally bitching about how much Christmas sucks and blah blah blah. There’s the rich bitch, the slut, the snob, the sarcastic one, and the new girl. Basically every woman in this sorority is just hateful and unlikable. You can tell from this picture what I’m talking about,
The women trade mean, sarcastic quips with one another.
Unbeknownest to our little angels, psychopath Billy Lenz is eating his Christmas dinner down the street at the local mental institution for the criminally insane. This is the bleek mental institution that you only see in movies where the crazies are guarded by a solitary wise-cracking Afircan American guard and the rooms resemble dungeons. The guard notes with a wise-crack that Billy tries to escape every year on Christmas.
Billy has this whole back story that I’m not going to go into except to say that he grew up with a crazy mother and stepfather who kept him locked in the attic for most of his life. Oh yeah, his mother had sex with him at one point and gave birth to Agnus, Billy’s daughter/sister. Yeah yeah we get it, Billy (they’re always named ‘Billy’, huh?) had a crazy childhood and it made him craaaaaaazy. Ooh ooh, one other thing, the sororiety house was Billy’s childhood home.
Anyway, as you’ve no doubt already guessed, Billy escapes because the guard, not seeing Billy when peering into Billy’s room, opens the door, walks into the room, gets down on all fours and looks under the bed. Bonk! So Billy escapes to right some Christmas wrong and begins his murderous rampage at the sorority house.
I've never seen the original Black Christmas, which is often credited as the inspiration for Halloween. The Black Christmas remake is dreadful and once again reminds me how brilliant Carpenter’s film remains. Slasher films that have followed Halloween, including its sequels, fail to appreciate what made Halloween so effective. In Carpenter’s film we generally care about the characters, particularly Laurie, an every-woman innocent. Even her “cool” friends are overall naïve and sweet. When Michael begins his kill-spree we root for the characters to survive. Fast-forward to the modern day slasher where devoid of scares, an effective score, and characterization, what we’re left with instead is empty calorie entertainment. Black Christmas (2006) perfectly illustrates this idea. The flavor-of-the-week actresses who make up Black Christmas (2006) are given no distinction to set them apart from one-another. They’re all snobby, sarcastic, and joyless. These are the girls we all hated growing up. Rather than care about these characters I was on the edge of my seat waiting with eager anticipation to see Billy knock them off.
Hooray, Billy killed more of them!
I gave this crapfest an extra star only because virtually every annoying character gets killed. This pleased me.