See the 1974 original instead

Black Christmas

on December 25, 2006 by Tim Cogshell
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Over the course of a long career, director Bob Clark helmed a number of not particularly notable films, which we will not mention here. Then there are his films of note, which include Breaking Point (1976), Porky's (1982), Rhinestone (a flop starring Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton from 1984), Turk 182 (1985) and, most notable of all, A Christmas Story (1983), which has been forever enshrined in the great Christmas movies Hall of Fame.

Ironically, another notable Bob Clark directed Christmas film is Black Christmas (1974), a horror thriller that was among the more popular of the hack ‘n' slashers of the day and that is often given credit for inspiring the cult classic Halloween. More than 30 years on, a titular remake does little to take the sheen of Bob's version, which, while not as slick as 2006's Black Christmas, is actually psychologically more intriguing and scarier. Clark eschewed the back-story that director Glen Morgan and company leans heavily on here, when they're not just killing cute young people by cleverly devised means.

Morgan is one of the creators of the Final Destination series and helmed the remake of Willard (2003), another not terribly effective remake of a movie about one of those guys with a legion of pet rats he sets on people who are mean to him. Black Christmas is about a boy named Billy (Robert Mann), who is one of those guys that secretly lives in the attic of a sorority house while plotting to kill college coeds one-by-one over the Christmas break. If you happen to be a hot young sorority babe, as are the young ladies in Black Christmas, these guys can be really irritating, but not as irritating as this movie. It seems that the one skill set of this team of filmmakers — who were also largely responsible for the X Files TV series — is devising clever (though highly implausible) modes of killing the subjects of their films.

If you were thinking of seeing the remake over your holiday break, consider the original Black Christmas, directed by Clark, instead. It was recently released on DVD and is considerably less irritating. Distributor: MGM
Cast: Michelle Trachtenberg, Katie Cassidy, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert, Oliver Hudson and Robert Mann
Director/Screenwriter: Glen Morgan
Producers: Marty Adelstein, Marc Butan, Steven Hoban, Glen Morgan, Scott Nemes, Dawn Parouse and James Wong
Genre: Horror
Rating: R for strong horror violence and gore, sexuality, nudity and language
Running time: 100 min.
Release date: December 25, 2006

Tags: Cast, Michelle Trachtenberg, Katie Cassidy, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert, Oliver Hudson and Robert Mann Director/Screenwriter: Glen Morgan Producers: Marty Adelstein, Marc Butan, Steven Hoban, Glen Morgan, Scott Nemes, Dawn Parouse and James Wong Genre, Horror, MGM
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