Black Christmas

Black Christmas ★★★

This new iteration of Black Christmas is pretty good, a little heavy handed with its message, but overall pretty good. The trailer didn’t spoil as much as I was afraid it would, because some of the things that are spoiled in the trailer actually aren’t anywhere in the movie. Despite all the negative reactions this movie has received (or "pre"-actions since almost all the complaints came from people who hadn't watched the movie) I went into this with an open mind and mostly enjoyed the experience. The director said this was a "fiercely feminist" movie and she wasn't playing around with that. There are moments when that feels a bit forced or lacking nuance, but I appreciated what they were going for. The movie is shot well with the colors of Christmas lighting some of the scenes in cool ways and I enjoyed most of the actors in their roles.

There are some pretty good tense scenes that are executed well, but you can tell the payoff was chopped off in order to secure the PG-13 rating. I don't have a problem with PG-13 horror as a whole, but when a movie was originally made with an R rating in mind and then cut, it always feels like something's missing. In this movie, every murder or slow reveal ends with an abrupt cut that lessens the impact of the horror. I hope that when this is released for home viewing that the original or unrated cut is made available.

Honestly my biggest complaint is that it would have been better if they didn’t try to tie it to the Black Christmas name. This could have easily been its own thing. The plot and concept were so completely different than the original that it was barely a reboot. I had the same complaint about the Child's Play reboot earlier this year. This was an original horror movie, that thing we keep saying that we want, but by naming it after an older movie, it instantly becomes less original and takes on the baggage of the previous film. I get that it's sometimes necessary to do this to get a movie greenlighted, but it's one of my least favorite trends in recent horror.

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