Black Christmas

Black Christmas ★★★

The moral of this story: "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" from the play by The Mourning Bride by William Congreve.

Video Review - just left the theater (no spoilers)

Let's clear up any misconception that this is a reboot or retelling of the 1974 film bearing the same name. The only similarities are it involves sorority girls. That's like saying a movie is like Diehard because it happens primarily inside a building. I don't know why they used the title except to piggyback off the original. If that is a nonstarter, then skip seeing this movie.

This movie comes from Blumhouse, which typically makes lower budget horror films and they are the same company that is redoing/re-imagining Fantasy Island in February 2020. I've noticed after watching a few of their films that they do have some decent storylines but the characterization is often weak. Maybe some of this is the acting, but I tend to think more of it is the source material.

Anyway, in here men are blatantly skewered as bad, stupid, incompetent and/or sheepish. The only good, if you will, male character is the young man Landon (Calem Eberhardt) interested in the female lead, Riley (Imogen Poots). And that guy is acting like he's neutered.

Cary Elwes plays the shady professor at the college under suspicion by the sorority girls, among others. for being, well, male, I guess. I wish his character had been framed better in the writing, because it ruins what happens later in the film with his character arc.

This has a bit of a Scream feel mixed with other films that I can't name in this review or it will spoil what happens in the third act. Bottom line, we've seen a lot of this happen before, but rarely mashed up in a feminist horror movie. I could have done without the obviously overdone feminist propaganda but enjoyed the mashup of plotlines and how the film ends, thus giving it a recommended rating.

However, and this is a big but, I can see why others would be annoyed by this movie and disliking it. If you want to see a film with any redeeming men portrayed, this film is not for you. If, however you're a woman who's sick and tired of most films being directed by men and mostly men working on the film, then this is a women film empowered for you. If, like me, you just like to be entertained regardless or perhaps in spite of agendas, then this is an average movie. It's not scary, is lukewarm interesting, and Blumhouse really needs to learn how to tone down all the shock and awe jump scares.