Remember back in the early millennium when every horror movie was commissioned for a remake? Sure, there were some that were solid like MY BLOODY VALENTINE, while others like PROM NIGHT left a lot to be desired. What was missing from these remakes was certain aesthetic; an identity that would let them stand the test of time other than simply being a remake of a far superior film. When Bob Clark’s BLACK CHRISTMAS was announced for the remake treatment, public opinion was mixed, but mostly negative. The original BLACK CHRISTMAS is a groundbreaking, shocking and still effective horror movie. While the remake lacked the suspense, realism and distinguishable characters from the original, I think it still holds up 11 years later. How? Well let me count the ways:
- A respect for the original movie: The BLACK CHRISTMAS redo didn’t try to replicate the first film for artistic pretentiousness
like the dreaded PSYCHO remake from 1998. It changed the tone, character displacement, and villain(s) to make it distinct enough from the original yet still honoring the setting and overall motive of the villain.
- Bitchy characters. I couldn’t tell half of them apart, but I love a movie full of bitchy characters. It’s like MEAN GIRLS set in a sorority house while the Plastics are getting offed. Plus, it does have Gretchen Weiner as one of the main girls.
- Andrea Martin. Sure, Andrea Martin and her fro were in the original but here, in the remake, she’s THE ANGELA MARTIN. She deserves every award known to man, including a Nobel Peace Prize.
- Katie Cassidy: Katie is the MVP of modern horror. She’s been in the remakes of BLACK CHRISTMAS, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and the MELROSE PLACE reboot. And she was the best thing about all of them.
- The Batshit incest storyline: The writers knew they couldn’t top the original film, so they went balls to the wall with the crazy. Gone is the suspense and tension of the original and in is the literal, mother-fucker making Christmas cookies out of his dead mother/lover’s skin. Chile…
- More Gore: Again, the people making this new what they were up against. Why not go in a completely opposite direction and show as much blood and gouged eye-balls as possible.
- Sisterhood: Kristen Cloke is a true gem. Her search for her half-sister, and not giving up on her, gave this movie some needed weight. However, the way she took up for her sorority sisters when the time was right made her stand out as a character with strenght and integrity. The other women may have hated each other, but they also created solidarity when there was a clear adversary.
- Ugly Killers: I like an ugly killer. Especially when it’s the product of incest. That’s it.
- The Colors!: The movie looks good. Excellent use of colors and shadows. The soundtrack was also amazing. This movie is intended to be fun. And it is.
- This movie is so gay: Nothing pro or anti-gay happens in this film, however, I related to this movie in a way that I haven’t since Brokeback Mountain. They’re very similar. Drunk cowboys being stalked by an incest survivor. Wasn’t that covered in both movies? No? Oh well. Any movie starring the great Andrea Martin is gay enough for me. Plus, who doesn’t want to be one of these bitchy ladies in the movie? Before they’re killed of course.