Black Christmas (2006)

black christmas poster 2006 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Brought attention back to Black Christmas

Dull remake of a good horror thriller

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Black Christmas

Studio:  Dimension Films

Genre(s):  Horror/Seasonal

Release Date(s):  December 25, 2006

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

black christmas agnes eyeballs yellow

I’ve been eyeing these for Christmas!

Every town has a house where people say horrors occurred.  The Delta Alpha Kappa house is the house where a killer born with a rare liver disease leaving his skin yellow named Billy Lenz (Robert Mann) fathered his own sister Agnes, killed his mother, her lover, and performed cannibalism.  It is Christmas again, and Billy has escaped the institution and the girls of Delta Alpha Kappa are going to pay.  Billy’s daughter and sister Agnes (Dean Friss) is also missing…will it be a silent night when the two of them come home to roost?

Directed by Glen Morgan, Black Christmas (sometimes stylistically called Black X-Mas) is a horror slasher film.  The film is a remake of the 1974 slasher film which is sometimes credited for inventing the slasher genre before Halloween.  The movie was released to controversy due to plans to release it on Christmas and was poorly received by critics.

Hollywood is full of remakes.  Often, classics are remade.  Black Christmas is a strange remake in that the original was a classic, but often forgotten before this remake hit the screens.  Now, due to the remake, the original Black Christmas once again is getting more attention…and this Black Christmas fails to wow.

black christmas billy lenz robert mann yellow skin

It’s not easy being yellow…

Black Christmas tries way too hard.  The original Black Christmas was dark and broody with the horror happening slower and more methodical.  Here, the makers amped up the story with more attempts for jumps scares and creepy Billy (plus throwing in a sister for a “double killer” punch).  Billy’s backstory is too long and involved and the real horror of the first film was that he was a mystery and was living in the house for a long time before anyone knew about it.  This film keeps the horror going and even moves it to the hospital for the end (the original ending was classic with essentially Billy winning).

The cast for Black Christmas also struggles.  In an inspiring moment, Andrea Martin was cast as the house mother…she was one of the original girls stalked by Billy in the 1974 Black Christmas (and I always find the SCTV alum fun to watch in movies).  The rest of the cast is made up of up-and-comers Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert, Kristen Cloke, and Crystal Lowe.  The original film had more distinctive girls (they had Superman’s Margot Kidder and Romeo & Juliette’s Olivia Hussey…plus Andrea Martin) and here, you don’t get much of a feel for the cast before the killing starts.

black christmas attic scene tree agnes dean friss

I hate it when the pine needles fall off the tree and your decorations start to rot

Another decision scrapped by the producers of the remake was the first film’s first person perspective and the decision to keep Billy unseen.  Billy hides in the shadows a majority of the movie (his eye shot is famous in horror), but here it is overused and they turned Billy into a rip off of Sin City’s That Yellow Bastard with bright glowing skin (or The X-Files’ Eugene Tooms).  It takes the scare out of the movie and makes it goofy.

Black Christmas isn’t worth seeking out.  Instead seek out the original which has held up much better than this poor attempt at a remake.  The horror and scares just aren’t here…nor is it even loaded with nudity and drugs like some ’80s slasher film.  Instead, you have a bland, dull horror film that doesn’t even have the snappy writing of something like Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer…leave this movie under the tree.  Another version of Black Christmas was released in 2019.

Related Links:

Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas (2019)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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