Horror Movie Review: Black Christmas (2019)

Black Christmas is a 2019 American slasher film directed by Sophia Takal, and written by Takal and April Wolfe. Part of the Black Christmas series, it is the loose second remake of the 1974 Canadian film Black Christmas, after the 2006 film.

While walking home, Hawthorne College student Lindsay is impaled with an icicle by a masked individual. The rest of Hawthorne College is preparing for the Christmas holiday break. Riley Stone, a student at the College’s Mu Kappa Epsilon (ΜΚΕ) sorority, is still struggling to move on from being raped by Delta Kappa Omicron (DKO) fraternity president Brian Huntley. Her sorority sisters Kris, Marty, Jesse, and Helena are taking part in the DKO talent show. Kris has drawn the ire of the DKO fraternity and Professor Gelson following a petition from her requesting that university founder and notorious misogynist Calvin Hawthorne’s bust be moved from the main building and another requesting Gelson be fired due to his refusal to teach books written by women. Riley learns that Brian will be back in town to oversee the talent show.

The group arrives at the DKO fraternity where Riley catches a glimpse of a strange ritual involving new pledges for DKO and black goo leaking out of the Calvin Hawthorne bust. She stumbles across Helena about to be sexually assaulted by one of the frat boys, saves her, and takes Helena’s place in the talent show. Upon seeing Brian in the crowd, she performs a song with her sorority sisters blasting the rape culture at the fraternity and stating that Brian raped her. Meanwhile, Helena is abducted by Lindsey’s attacker. The girls start to receive threatening DMs from a Calvin Hawthorne account similar to what Lindsey had received before she was murdered. Sorority sister Fran is killed by the masked man. Riley has a strange encounter with Gelson, where she finds a list of the MKE girls among his papers.

Jesse is murdered, her body left in the attic. Riley, Kris, and Marty are attacked by an assailant who injures Marty. Kris discovers Jesse’s body while Marty’s boyfriend Nate arrives and is also murdered. Riley kills the masked man but the girls are attacked by two other masked men. Marty dies while Riley and Kris kill the attacker. They remove his mask after being alarmed that they are covered in black goo instead of blood. Riley identifies him as a DKO pledge she saw at the ritual.

Can the girls figure out what’s going on and survive?

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Sigh. This movie. Where to even begin. Right off the bat you have 20 solid minutes of social commentary being jammed down your throat. There are comments about not needing men, white supremacy, someone nearly gets raped, and generally all white men in the film are evil. It’s just, a lot for the opening of a movie. When you put on a slasher movie you don’t expect to be bombarded with a constant stream of heavy handed messages. It also immediately sets up a very hateful narrative. These girls don’t want to have fun, they just want to take down society and fuck you for wanting to watch a mindless slasher flick.

It’s just relentless. It goes on and on and on and on and doesn’t let up. And you know it’s PG-13 so no blood or gore is even coming. It’s just sad. The movie has such potential for fun. The girls have great chemistry, I genuinely believe they’re sorority sisters and very close. And everyone does act well.

I do want to clarify that what they’re saying definitely isn’t wrong by any means, but it’s just not the right platform and the movie smashes you over the head with it. It’s a slasher film, not a realistic drama. One scene that really bothered was when the boyfriend, Nate tried to debate them. What he said was valid but they wouldn’t hear it and shouted at him until he was forced to leave. A healthy debate would have been welcome because by the ratings, clearly most people agree with him.

The kills are so weak, they’re literally nothing. You don’t see anything, there’s no blood, it just pans straight away. It’s as if they made a slasher film for people who would be too triggered watching a real slasher film, it’s pathetic.

Lastly, the showdown is ridiculous. It’s hard to know what to even say. It’s almost a comedy, it’s just that bad.

Overall, Black Christmas is a joke. It’s not gory, it’s not scary or thrilling, it’s just a platform someone has used to shove social commentary down your throat with no regards to their audience or if anyone even wants to listen. The worst slasher movie I have ever seen. Truly awful. The only saving grace is as I mentioned, the chemistry and the acting but it’s not worth viewing just for that.

Black Christmas
  • Final Score - 1/10
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