Black Christmas

Black Christmas ★★½

ADDED TO "2019 RANKED" :) 

Ha, no wonder people hate this! Black Christmas’ feminist angle isn’t so much “heavy handed”, it just IS the hand, presenting what could have been mere subtext as the main majority of the text, doing so with an enthusiastic transparency that I ultimately found rather endearing. The majority of the dialogue involves discussions of rape culture and gender dynamics, while the plot itself becomes a loud embodiment of those issues in ways I won’t spoil and could not possibly be missed. As such, Sophia Takal’s film is full of good ideas, in form (smash zooms, glass distortions, lingering long takes) and content (eg. a fist-pumping musical moment and a gasp-inducing reversal of “my body, my choice”), but their impact is softened by largely limp scares and a really slapdash script and edit. It’s not surprising that development only started in June this year, which mostly explains the sloppy scripting and unrefined post work, but also makes it remarkable that the movie is as good as it is (AKA: not very, but a genuine effort). It’s messy as hell, but far from “the worst movie of the year”, as some 1/2 star reviews are hyperbolically shouting, even if only for Imogen Poots’ terrific work as the lead, repeatedly repackaging and reopening trauma in a constant cycle of stoic suppression, guttural cries and badass bravery. Also, how wonderful to get a cheap Blumhouse horror remake with some substance, not matter how indelicate! I had fun. 5/10 

P.S. I watched this back-to-back with Paul Feig’s Last Christmas, and I gotta say, this cinematic universe doesn’t make any sense.

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