Review: “Black Christmas”

When it comes to horror, and especially that slasher sub-genre, sheer simplicity often works far better than anything else. Unfortunately the filmmakers behind this remake of the clunky yet still interesting 1974 flick “Black Christmas” decided to add a whole bunch of back story, gore and utterly silly motivations to their script.

The result is an exercise in pure tedium. Gone is the mystery of who is it stalking these poor girls in a remote sorority house, replaced by some incestuous little dark haired kid with devil eyes and his in-bred sister who’ve now all grown up. The film does one thing right in keeping the action confined to the house and not really stretching it out into the real world like the original did.

Yet gone is the original’s clever sense of dread. The plastic bag over the head murder, the moment of panic over the girls upstairs, the fleeting glimpses from the maniac’s point-of-view or of his shoes running for our heroinne. Even the open ending showed with more thought and smarts than this unimaginitive drivel whose multiple climaxes make an 80 minute movie feel like four hours.

None of the girls either seem to have any brains – there’s no sassy Margot Kidder role, replaced by bland stars who belong on The CW (though Hudson’s cute) and Andrea Martin who’s obviously collecting a paycheck. There’s no suspense to be found, no tension, laughs or interest. The guys know how to do gory deaths, but one or two morbid laughs don’t make a movie.

It’s hard to believe but this is quite literally worse than the odious “When a Stranger Calls” remake earlier in the year. That film at least boasted a very cool set design and focused more on dread and atmosphere than cheap gore. A sheer failure on every level – stupid, stupid, stupid.