Black Christmas (2006)
Today’s feature is the 2006 remake of the classic horror movie Black Christmas.
Black Christmas was written, produced, and directed by Glen Morgan, who also directed the remake of Willard in 2003, wrote Final Destination, and wrote and produced a number of episodes of The X-Files.
The cinematographer for the movie was Robert McLachlan, who shot Final Destination, Final Destination 3, The One, Wes Craven’s Cursed, and a handful of episodes of Game of Thrones.
The editor on Black Christmas was Chris G. Willingham, who also cut Dragonball: Evolution, Final Destination 3, and numerous episodes of television series like Grimm, 24, The X-Files, The A-Team, and 21 Jump Street.
The producers on the movie included, outside of writer/director Glen Morgan, Marc Butan (The Road), original Black Christmas director Bob Clark (Baby Geniuses 2, Baby Geniuses, Rhinestone), noted businessman Mark Cuban, Ogden Gavanski (Tremors 5, Good Luck Chuck), Steven Hoban (Ginger Snaps), Kent Kubena (Turistas), Victor Solnicki (Scanners, Videodrome), Mike Upton (Leprechaun In The Hood), and James Wong (American Horror Story, The X-Files).
The makeup effects team for Black Christmas included Chris Devitt (The Fog, American Mary, Hollow Man II), Juliana Vit (Supernatural, Slither), Joann Fowler (Final Destination 5, X-Men 2), Geoff Redknap (Seventh Son, Sucker Punch), Fern Levin (The X-Files), Rob Miller (House of the Dead, Blade: Trinity), and Toby Lindala (The Man in the High Castle, Lake Placid, Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Core).
The special effects unit for the movie included the likes of Steve Collins (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Pick Me Up), Rory Cutler (Baby Geniuses 2, The Fly II), Bleau Fortier (Horns, Far Cry), W. David McGuire (Blade: Trinity, Baby Geniuses 2), and Wayne Syzbunka (Marmaduke, The Black Cat, Pick Me Up, Dreams In The Witch House, Lake Placid).
The extensive visual effects work for Black Christmas was provided by a number of companies, including Spin West VFX (Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead), Soho VFX (47 Ronin, Jonah Hex, Dragonball: Evolution), and iO Film (The Mist, Resident Evil: Extinction).
The music for the film was composed by Shirley Walker, who also provided music for movies like Final Destination, Final Destination 2, Final Destination 3, Ghoulies, and Escape From L.A.. Unfortunately, it would be her last film, as she died just before the movie’s release.
The cast of Black Christmas includes Katie Cassidy (Arrow, Taken), Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Gossip Girl), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Kristen Cloke (Final Destination), Andrea Martin (Wag The Dog), Crystal Lowe (Insomnia), and Oliver Hudson (Nashville).
The plot of Black Christmas is summarized on IMDb as follows:
An escaped maniac returns to his childhood home on Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one.
Andrea Martin, who plays the role of the house mother in the 2006 remake of Black Christmas, was also in the original Black Christmas in 1974 at the beginning of her career, and was cast due to her connection to that film.
Much like what happened with Silent Night, Deadly Night, Black Christmas faced significant public backlash for its content and holiday release. However, many people were upset about the film’s trailer for an unexpected reason: much of the footage used was not actually from the movie, and was shot specifically for advertising purposes. This left a bitter taste in many people’s mouths, particularly horror fans who were already uneasy about the idea of a remake of such a classic film.
Director/writer/producer Glen Morgan placed the blame for the failure of Black Christmas on the infamous Weinstein brothers, whose Dimension studio released the film. Apparently, Bob Weinstein in particular pressured for the movie to be more gory and violent, against Morgan’s wishes.
Black Christmas grossed just over $21 million in its lifetime theatrical run on a production budget of $9 million. While this was profitable, it didn’t come anywhere near its expectations, and it wasn’t helped by the abysmal critical reaction. Currently, the movie holds a 4.5 user rating on IMDb, along with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 38% from audiences and 14% from critics.
Black Christmas is, above all else, unremarkable. I’ve seen this movie a number of times over the years, but there is almost nothing I have retained from one viewing to the next, because there is just nothing in this movie that stands out. It is a run of the mill slasher flick that fancies itself a horror-comedy, but never quite figures out how to be funny. Worse still, the kills aren’t even anything to write home about, which is about the worst sin you can commit as a slasher movie. The characters are dull, the story is generic, and about the only thing the movie has going for it at the end of the day is gore, which isn’t nearly as impressive or effective as it could be.
Overall, this is a painfully generic movie that doesn’t even begin to live up to the reputation of its classic predecessor. Astoundingly, this is probably worse than any of the other Christmas-themed horror films I have seen, just because it is just so painfully forgettable. Sure, Elves might be terribly constructed, but it is certainly an unforgettable experience. Unless you are absolutely determined to sit through this movie, it isn’t much more than a waste of time. There are plenty of technically worse and more entertaining flicks out there that make for better holiday viewing if you ask me.