Bob Clark’s 1974 horror Black Christmas was quite ahead of its time as one of the earliest great ‘slasher’ films – with some film buffs calling it THE first.
A remake was released back in 2006 which was neither horror nor comedy – and ultimately watchable.
Universal Pictures have taken a gamble on yet another instalment, and while this latest iteration of Black Christmas is certainly an improvement over the last one – it can’t hold a candle to the original.
During their winter break, most of the students at Hawthorne College have headed home for Christmas – while a few self-described ‘orphans’ stick around.
One of those students is Riley (Green Room and 28 Weeks Later’s Imogen Poots), who has mostly withdrawn from all social activities outside of her sorority since being sexually assaulted at a party by one of the frat boys. She gets her revenge after taking part in a talent show that sees her changing the words of a carol – which ‘shames’ her attacker in the process and highlights the rape culture at the fraternity.
Any joy received from having her moment is short-lived however after a missing sorority sister and a mysterious threatening text suggests someone has deadly plans for her and her fellow ‘sisters’.
Black Christmas tip-toes into Us-esque territory when introducing a supernatural element in the third act. But while Jordan Peele’s modern classic did it convincingly – it’s much more comical here.
I was taken out of the movie further by the script. The casting was effective with notable performances – but the lines these actors were given seemed too ‘forced’ and didn’t flow naturally.
I will admit that I jumped out of my seat quite a few times, so by that rationale if you’re looking for nothing more than some ‘gimmicky’ scares – you may be satisfied enough with this Black Christmas remake.
But I was hoping for something much darker – and ultimately much smarter.
ESP Rating: 2/5
Cast: Imogen Poots, Cary Elwes, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O’Grady, Aleyse Shannon, Lucy Currey, Madeleine Adams, Ben Black, Simon Mead & Caleb Eberhardt
Running Time: 1 Hr 32 Mins
Director: Sophia Takel
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