Ryan Palmer’s review published on Letterboxd:
Let me just start off this review by saying that I'm normally not one to harp on feminist agendas being present in movies. I have no reason to. In fact, I am entirely supportive of women empowerment in movies. I think it's great that we can have strong female characters in movies that can inspire women and girls of all ages. If a movie wants to push a female empowerment message, I am totally okay with that. What I'm not okay with is a movie that thinks it understands female empowerment, only to constantly shame men throughout the course of the runtime. This is the case with "Black Christmas 2019." As many people know, I love the original "Black Christmas" from 1974. It was an incredibly engaging slasher with excellent atmosphere and is technically responsible for paving the way for slasher movie conventions in the future. The 2006 remake was pretty bad on the other hand. However, after watching this latest iteration from Blumhouse Productions, I think I'd take the 2006 remake over this one any day. This movie is an utter mess. This most likely due to the fact that the film was literally put into production in July of 2019 and scheduled for a December release in that same year. As a result, the final product feels rushed and slapped together. The main issue with the 2019 remake is it's tackling of sexual assault on college campuses. To be fair, this is an intriguing topic for a horror film to cover. The problem is that the film paints almost every single male character in the movie as a bad person. There's no black or white, or grey area, when it comes to this discussion. The point the film is making is that all men are evil and creepy stalkers. Well, newsflash: not every male on a college campus is like that. Therefore, this movie comes across as very arrogant and self important. Instead of being smart and clever with this subtext, the 2019 remake seriously feels like a movie that came from the Lifetime network. I also have to say that the female empowerment angle this film takes is questionable because horror films usually do have female characters who stand up to the killer and take them out at the end. I don't really see how this film is breaking the mold. It's not just the feminist angle that falls flat, this movie has some of the worst writing ever put in a horror film. The writing is so bad that characters basically summarize the plot of the movie for the audience at certain points, in case if they were to stupid to understand what was happening. As a remake of "Black Christmas," this movie barely has anything to do with the original tale. Instead of a serial killer stalking sorority girls, we instead get a cult that has some magical element behind it. This does not feel like a remake of "Black Christmas," this feels like somebody had a generic holiday themed horror script lying around, slapped a recognizable title on it to draw in a large audience. It's frankly insulting. Don't even get me started on the ending, which is so laughable, you'd swear that the filmmakers were passing it off as a bad joke. Even worse is the overall filmmaking. This movie is very unimpressive from a production standpoint. Everything is flat and boring to look at. It seriously feels like a made for TV movie that was somehow given a wide theatrical release. The editing feels choppy at times, to the point where characters are just randomly introduced to the film with no context or buildup whatsoever. The bad filmmaking also affects the performances from the actors as well. This remake has atrocious acting that feels like everything was done in one take. At least with the 2006 remake, you can tell people were trying in spite of the bad material. The horror in the film falls flat as well. The atmosphere is non-existent, which is so disappointing. I will never forget the original film's atmosphere and how much it left an impression on me. Sadly, this remake fails to live up to that standard. Even worse is that this remake is watered down due to the PG-13 rating. I'm not against PG-13 horror films and some of them I've even liked, but the point of a slasher film is to show exciting ways people can die. This remake just has generic stabbings and they often cut away when a character gets stabbed. To say that I hated this movie would be an understatement. This is worse than getting coal in your stocking, this is like getting a leaky bag of diarrhea as a Christmas present. All I can say is that, to Glen Morgan and everyone involved in the 2006 remake, I'm sorry. I have more of an appreciation for your movie now, after seeing this pathetic excuse of a remake.