When you think of Christmas movies, you think of the classics like A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Die Hard ( Yes Die Hard). Horror and Christmas don’t usually mix well together. The one that prominently pops into my head is Silent Night, Deadly Night – and if you have seen it then you know how horrid it is. Christmas traditions are just too silly to convert into horror elements. Let’s see what we can come up with, evil killer Santa/ Reindeer? Deadly mistletoe? Using a tree as an impalement instrument? Choking by Christmas lights?? Black Christmas is considered to be possibly the first slasher film, preceding Carpenter’s Halloween by four years and its influence is definitely evident in the Michael Myers story. I have never seen the 1974 movie, don’t know why, it stars Olivia Hussey, John Saxon, and Margot Kidder; with a cast like that, it’s bound to be awesome. Seeing how I haven’t seen the old film yet, I can rip this movie apart without any preconceived notions. Black Christmas 2006 comes from the X-Files producing team of Glen Morgan and James Wong, which means nothing since I haven’t really seen their names on much since the X-Files, and the last X-file movie is nothing to be proud of. The cast is pretty unnoticeable , the stand-outs are Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Thing), Andrea Martin (Black Christmas 1974) and that guy who dated Joey Potter from Dawson’s Creek for a season (Yes, I’m a huge DC fan.. Don’t Judge me!)
Billy Lenz was born like every other ordinary kid, except that his skin was banana yellow and, oh yeah, his moms hates his guts. One drunken night after telling Billy that the Russians shot down Santa’s sleigh and that Santa Claus was dead, she and her “secret boyfriend” kill Billy’s dad and bury him under the house and then they lock Billy up in the attic permanently. For some odd reason, these events have an adverse effect on Billy – go figure. Mom and step dad have their own little daughter, Agnes, whom mom absolutely adores. So for revenge, Bill kills mom and step-dad, leaving little Agnes an orphan and Billy an inmate at the local loony bin. Of course years later, Billy escapes. Now Billy’s old house is a popular sorority and the few remaining girls are celebrating Christmas together, including a Kappa tradition of leaving Billy Lenz a present under the tree. Well amidst the holiday cheer, the girls are starting to get picked off one by one, it seems Billy has returned home to add some new family members, it seems everyone that Billy kills is now part of “his family,” but is Billy really the killer? All is revealed at the end, with chestnuts roasting on a open fire near the lighted Christmas tree where the new “family” members are gathered, though not one was stirring at all.
I went into this movie think that it would be horrible, it was close but I can’t say it was THAT bad. It’s just a typical generic slasher film, offering nothing new and lacking any suspense and thrills. Yes there is plenty of gore but nothing inventive or remotely original, in fact other than the strangulation by Christmas lights and the impalement on the Christmas tree, I can’t think of another memorable moment. I couldn’t really get a handle on any of the characters in the girls sorority, they all seemed the same to me. So when each one goes dying one by one, I didn’t really know who they were or really cared about them. Now this could be a good thing if the killer/killers are cool and then I can root for the bad guys , but I can’t even say that. We barely see Billy and the big “reveal” at the end was completely predictable and stupid. Now don’t even get me started on the scenes where the girls just do outrageously dumb things, like the “hey there’s a noise underneath the house, let me crawl underneath to check it out” crap. The few rays of lights in this were Andrea Martin as the sorority mother and the back story when Billy was a kid was pretty funny and entertaining. Now if you are home sick in bed with the flu, bundled up with your blankets in bed and Black Christmas come on and you find you don’t have the energy to find the remote and change the channel. Well there are definitely worse things out there, like Silent Night, Deadly Night…now that’s scary. I give this holiday dud a ½ guy out of 3.