Black Christmas (2019)
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, coinciding with Friday the 13th.
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 Sucks
- 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.
- Although sexual assault on college campuses is a severe problem, the movie's message is so heavy-handed and unsubtle it feels disrespectful.
- 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.
- 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 movie is overreliant on cheap jump scares, which are clearly telegraphed.
- It also focuses too much on exposition, with the awkward car conversation being a notable example.
- The advertising is 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.
- The trailer spoiled most of the movie.
- The main characters are flat and uninteresting.
- 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.
- 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 mad woman in the 2006 remake) stalking members of a sorority house. In contrast, this one is about an evil spirit possessing people to get them to murder women. In fact, it feels more like an Amityville Horror film that doesn't have anything to do with Black Christmas.
- Good performance from Imogen Poots.
- Decent soundtrack by Will & Brooke Blair.
Black Christmas received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics but was heavily panned by audiences and fans of the original, 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 38% 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.