Black Christmas

Black Christmas

When “being woke” goes horribly, horribly wrong.

Originally I thought I had a way of seeing the unrated version of the '06 Black Christmas last night so that review would have gone up today and tomorrow would be this review. Regrettably, that did not work out-don't ask why; I just know that is supposed to be far superior to the easier to find theatrical cut so I do not want to bother with that. Alas, that will have to wait until sometime in 2020; I may actually have to buy the old DVD... in any case, the original Black Christmas is very good as it is quite chilling throughout (not to mention intense) and there are memorable kills. By the time I saw this remake a few hours ago, I had already heard rumblings of BC '19 being terrible, and even an explanation as to why.

I hate having to bag on a movie starring a group of young women, directed by a woman and written by the director along with another woman. After you read what I say, some could consider it invalid because I am a random white man who is uncomfortably close to the age of 40. If someone feels that way, I will not object; maybe this will play better if you are a young adult woman. You see, I thought the trailers revealed too much (and they did), but it did not show that this went HEAVILY into being for the “SJW” and “woke” crowd. If this would have been more nuanced and not so laughably preposterous, I would have been hunky-dory with a tale where ladies have to navigate university life and because men are being stereotypically bad or chauvinistic or just plain dumb, they don't believe it when a female hater or haters are killing them.

This movie's biggest issue is not the PG-13 rating resulting in kills without any blood. The setup to the kills are lame and forgettable... basically, someone appears from the shadows and grabs the girl... that's it! No, the worst problem is how incredibly blunt the movie is and how the approach is sledgehammer-like and clumsy in addressing various social issues and a horrible event that happens to lead girl Imogen Poots. Honestly, Poots tries her hardest and she was the standout; the cast as a whole was not bad but this would have been even worse if not for her. I do wish the cast did not have to try and make such a bad plot and atrocious on the nose dialogue work-they all deserved better. Note that this portrays all men as being pretty terrible, and OF COURSE “not all men” is brought up and in fact results in a heated argument.

It seemed like there was no point to this and instead it will just stir people up by bringing up so many buzzwords and concepts from #metoo and women empowerment without being entertaining or sending any sort of worthwhile message to the audience. Instead, this still has a “dumb woman” character and another is Super Feminist and is like a garish stereotype of the most SJW lady you'll ever come across... wanting an English literature class to have more minorities and women in curriculum and wanting the college to fire the professor (Cary Elwes!) when he objects. Honestly, the movie is that unsubtle throughout; it becomes exhausting how blunt it attempts-and fails-to present its themes. And then the third act happens... holy cow. Of course I won't spoil anything; even if I did, I imagine no one would believe me if I gave away the explanation for what's going on! I'll just say that it makes the whole thing a joke and not a realistic look at serious modern issues. As the movie is not supposed to be a parody or satire... no wonder this is getting brutalized everywhere that I have looked. Heck, there is some amazingly obvious ADR work done and I usually can't spot such things.

While I've never seen director Sophia Takal's Never Shine, but I know it has its fans and it has to be MUCH better than this dreck that amazingly missed its mark so badly. IMO, Hollywood has done a piss-poor job trying to create “modern” woman characters that are supposed to be empowering or has strong beliefs. What I've seen, it's been incredibly grating characters like that one girl from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or that one robot sidekick of Lando from Solo: A Star Wars Story. This, however, takes the cake in that besides all the horrible stereotyping, the women in general act pretty incompetent until suddenly... they're not! Even if this did not have the Black Christmas name attached to it, it would be an appallingly bad horror movie-which hardly has any horror in it to begin with-but the fact that it taints a genre classic... like I said, I wish I did not have to tear apart something involving so many women and it having the germ of interesting ideas that are relevant in today's world. That said, I have to be honest here and while I am not the target demographic, I can still say this was more rotten than a Christmas goose sitting in the garbage that hasn't been picked up for collection yet.

Blair Russell liked these reviews