Black Christmas (2019)

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Black Christmas (2019)
Bchristmas2019.jpg
If you just make the film for promoting propaganda and doesn't know storytelling, you failed at film making.
Genre: Horror
Slasher
Directed By: Sophia Takal
Produced By: Brigitte Berman
Jason Blum
Ben Cosgrove (p.g.a.)
Adam Hendricks (p.g.a.)
Written By: Sophia Takal
April Wolfe
Starring: Imogen Poots
Lily Donoghue
Aleyse Shannon
Brittany O'Grady
Caleb Eberhardt
Cary Elwes
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Mark Schwartzbard
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 13, 2019 (United States)
Runtime: 92 minutes
Country: United States
New Zealand
Language: English
Budget: $5 million
Box Office: $18.5 million
Franchise: Black Christmas
Prequel: Black X-Mas


Black Christmas is a 2019 American slasher film directed by Sophia Takal, and written by Takal and April Wolfe. Part of the Black Christmas series, it is the loose second remake of the 1974 Canadian film Black Christmas, after the 2006 film, and stars Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O'Grady, Caleb Eberhardt, and Cary Elwes. Black Christmas was theatrically released in the United States on December 13, 2019 by Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions, coinciding with Friday the 13th.

Plot

Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays as students travel home to spend time with their families. But as Riley and her sorority sisters prepare to deck the halls with seasonal parties, a mysterious cloaked figure starts to leave a bloody trail throughout the campus. Refusing to become hapless victims, Riley and her friends decide to band together and fight back against the psychotic Christmas killer.

Why It's Not a Black Christmas

  1. The entire movie is blatant feminist propaganda, delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face.
    • The writers admit they were more focused on the film's message about feminism than actual entertainment.
    • It portrays all men (with the exceptions of Landon and Nate), particularly white men, as misogynistic.
    • The female characters frequently drop cringe-worthy lines about men being evil and "female empowerment."
    • Overall, as many reviewers note, the entire movie plays out like a Twitter feud, with the characters dropping many current-day buzzwords.
  2. Although the sexual assault on college campuses is a severe problem, the movie's message is so heavy-handed and unsubtle it feels disrespectful.
  3. The movie's supernatural plot twist, that some black goo possesses most of the frat members, is ridiculous and contrived.
    • It actually undermines its portrayal of all men being jerks, since it implies not all the guys were willing participants.
    • At the same time, the sorority members express no concern about this, and leave all the pledges to burn to death.
    • Not to mention, the whole idea rips off the concept of Venom from Marvel Comics.
  4. To put things simply, none of the characters are likable at all. All the men, except Landon and Nate, are portrayed as jerks and killers, all the women are annoying and self-righteous, and everybody is either sexist, a murderer, or both.
    • The main characters are very flat and uninteresting.
    • Kris is the worst character in the movie by a landslide. With the men, they're supposed to be unlikable villains. However, Kris is supposed to be seen as a role model and supporting protagonist, and yet she is annoying, obnoxious, and very immature. Also, she is basically the equivalent to an activist on TikTok who has her logic all backwards.
      • Her reason for trying to get Professor Gelson fired is because he didn't include women, queer people, transgender people, and people of color on his syllabus. This makes her a Karen because she's making a big deal over him basically just doing his job. It's her fault that she can't get over the fact that he is teaching basic education.
  5. This movie has the opposite problem of the 2006 remake. The original has a balance of the slasher horror and psychological drama tones. Whereas the 2006 film focuses too much on the slasher elements, this one focuses too much on the drama to the point where the actual horror elements are so poorly executed. On top of that, the drama is very poorly written.
  6. The movie is over reliant on cheap jump scares, which are clearly telegraphed.
  7. It also focuses too much on exposition, with the awkward car conversation being a notable example.
  8. Mediocre performances.
  9. Though it's advertised as being a slasher, the PG-13 rating means the kills and violence are all watered down with very few scares.
    • Being a PG-13 rated remake of an R-rated movie isn't necessarily bad, but the problem is that it's a factor being taken away without a different factor of quality being added in.
  10. There is little-to-no connection to either of the previous Black Christmas films. Both of them were about a crazy guy (and also a madwoman in the 2006 remake) stalking and killing members of a sorority house. In contrast, this one is about an evil spirit possessing men to get them to murder women. The film was likely titled Black Christmas to cash in on the success and popularity of the original film.
    • In fact, it feels more like an Amityville Horror film that doesn't have anything to do with Black Christmas.
  11. The advertising is very misleading because the trailer made the movie look like a typical slasher, only for it to focus more on delivering a message about feminism and sexism.
  12. The trailer spoiled most of the movie.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Good performance from Imogen Poots.
  2. Decent soundtrack by Will & Brooke Blair.

Reception

Critical response

Black Christmas received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics but was heavily panned by reviews from audiences and fans of the original film, criticizing its deviation from the original film's story, the overt political messages, and its PG-13 rating, although Poots' performance was praised. It currently holds a 39% critic rating and a 31% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a critical consensus that reads, "Better than the 2006 remake yet not as sharp as the original, this Black Christmas stabs at timely feminist themes but mostly hits on familiar pulp." On Metacritic, it has a 49 critic score (mixed or average reviews) with a 2.0 user rating (generally unfavorable reviews) and a 3.4/10 on IMDB. Audiences gave the film a D+ on Cinemascore, and a 1.5 out of 5 stars on PostTrak.

Chris Stuckmann earned this movie an F grade.

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