The second remake of a well regarded 1974 horror entry from Bob Clark who would go on to direct a seminal holiday picture A Christmas Story is hardly a scary, smart slasher foray during #MeToo.
Blumhouse Productions is behind Black Christmas which often imbues a preachy tone and unloads its share of wild B-movie genre tropes near the conclusion having gotten primed from distaff empowerment and benefitted by a decent setting (shot in Dunedin New Zealand).
Toxic masculinity, sisterhood and wish-fulfillment are strewn together by director Sophia Takai and scribe April Wolfe, but hardly as an edgy entertainment or present (if you will) for this kind of fare marketed predominantly to the Gen Z demographic.
Hawthorne College’s MU Kappa Epsilon sorority plans to hang around to revel in end-of-year campus merriment which includes plans against a long-standing chauvinistic fraternity, Delta Kappa Omega. The central character is a once-abused Riley (Imogen Poots of Green Room and The Art of Self-Defence) looking to provide her style of comeuppance.
Suspicions about classmates heading on break when a hooded, robed figure becomes present leads again to a disconnect with law enforcement, thus, this collegiate group must be “doing it for themselves.” The accomplished Poots does what she can with a deflated character whose views towards the opposite sex could be mitigated. Those around her in MKE as portrayed by Aleyse Shannon, Madeleine Adams, Lily Donoghue and Brittany O’Grady can’t do nearly as much with their roles with Riley in a subtext. Some may be amused by Cary Elwes (having found new life on Netflix’s Stranger Things) as the old-fashioned university professor who gets ‘schooled’.
In this latest Christmas back does appear but hardly in any notable fashion as a supernatural denouement gets a little wacko, the 2006 film expressed itself as a sad experience, expecting anything along the lines of Jordan Peele’s trippy, deliciously truculent Get Out. Get Out. But as horror does for this time of year, it has a much bite as Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea and Olivia Hussey Clark were able to stage sorority fights with more precision and much less preachiness.