And we’re back with our column of trash movies, this time Special Christmas Edition: Black Christmas (2006) is a movie that gets into the Dark Side of the Moon in all his trashy glory.
A headstart disclaimer that the title sucks. It’s completely nonsense to put “black” on the title just to be ~scary~ – black is a colour. Let’s have more creativity for horror movie titles, the name has nothing to do with the movie.
Ok, after that: Black Christmas is one of the most comical horror movies I’ve ever watched and I really don’t know if they aimed for it or not. As a remake of a 70’s movie, I saw many people saying both are completely different – and there I go to watch another horror movie, and please let the original be better than this one.
But well, I heard legends that this is one of the worst horror movies in the world – so clearly it’s the one I ended up choosing to watch. I’ve already said I LOVE trash horror movies, right…?
Is it the worse movie I’ve ever watched? Certainly not. House of the Dead – the movie I debuted this column, you can read it in here – still remains strongly and proudly as the worst: after all, how to surpass a zombie pirate fake Pinhead priest in a Sega rave at the Isla Del Morte?
Very well, take a deep breath and get ready: the train is leaving to the most comical and bizarre lethal Christmas of all, in a movie that could even be good, but wasn’t!
Black Christmas – The 2006 Movie
Released in 2006 and directed by Glen Morgan, Black Christmas came to haunt us with a movie that you don’t know if it’s a horror, comedy or intentionally tacky. It’s based on the 1974 movie – considered one of the first slasher horror movies, the original is even seen as a cult classic that might have influenced the classic Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis.
So why the 2006 remake? It’s a mystery.
Maybe they tried to bring the movie back, but it definitely did not work. I honestly didn’t know if I was watching a horror or a dark humor movie – but I didn’t know if I had to take it seriously or not.
Just so you can understand the movie tone.
As a protagonist, we have our eternal blonde Ruby from Supernatural – the actress Katie Cassidy. The acting is not bad: for real, the reactions from the actresses and the way they behave made me think that yes, the movie was trying to be serious.
And you must be asking yourself: but wow, Artemis, what is the problem for you to be so confused?
Let’s go, I’ll tell you this Christmas horror.
The premisse is very basic: the sorority Delta Alpha Kappa is located in a house that, many years before, lived a family with a tragic story – on Christmas night, the son killed the mother, her boyfriend and tore off one of his younger sister’s eyes, being admited at a mental hospital soon after.
Because of that, the sorority has the kinda superstitious ritual of putting a present for the killer on the tree every year – more or less like an entity, so he doesn’t get angry with them.
As the plot unravels, we find out that Billy, the said killer, was constantly abused by his mother – sexual and psychologically – being that his “sister” was, in fact, his daughter with his own mother. Rejecting him since he was a kid, his mother killed his father right in his front, making him hide in the attic. And there, he was locked only to be abused during the years.
With a preference for the daughter and giving love – a sick love, actually – only for her, Billy escapes in a Christmas night and kills the family, baking parts of his mother skin as cookies and tearing off one of his sister’s eyes to be part of the feast.
This is the basic horror story the sisters of the fraternity tell between themselves – but soon, weird things start happening and they find out that Billy’s back home.
It doesn’t seem that bad, huh? Reading like that, it doesn’t. And the actresses aren’t bad! The credibility is good, the reactions are pretty cool – nothing that wins an Oscar, but they aren’t those actings that leave you bothered as if there was an ice cube melting inside your shirt.
The problem, I think, is the movie tone.
Definitively they couldn’t get it right. Everything happens too fast, is too obvious, has little thriller vibes and, at the end, turns into a tacky comic thing that you just get confused if it’s supposed to be like that or if it was trying to be serious.
Taking into account the heavy plot – after all, from the criminal psychology point of view, Billy’s story is quite interesting – something interesting could come from there. But, like in House of the Dead, I made some notes during the movie and I’ll bring here some points of things that left me like “BUT WHAT?!”
Right at the start the movie focuses on an ice stalactite on the roof of the frat house – and I could BET that someone would die from that. Besides, it’s extremely obvious the stalactites are fake decoration.
And on the first minutes we already have the first death: we don’t even know who the girl is and, after zooming in many potential weapons – a pen, stalactite, scissors (those children scissors, but ok), wine opener… – the assassination method is a trash plastic bag on the head and a stab with a pen that you can’t even see properly and you’re just “???”
Oh I miss the stab in the face of Crimson Peak – that one, my darlings, is a WORTHY scene (and amem Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain for being the marvellous actors they are).
And talking about Crimson Peak, another case of people locked up by their mothers. Meaning, you want to watch a good horror with good thrills, romance, sensuality and family issues? WATCH CRIMSON PEAK, THANK YOU, YOU’RE WELCOME.
Apart from that, we have painfull clichés on this movie, like: the crazy and devoided of personality killer, the crazy dude laughing like a maniac at the hospice, the “cool” and “rebellious” girl, the saint from the church who likes the Bible, the trashy guy… You can choose your favourite cliché.
So, it’s on the medical facility that there’s a scene I started to have serious doubts if the movie itself was taking itself serious. For real, a guy dressed as Santa Claus gets into the wing of criminally insane people and walks slowly behind a nurse who’s delivering dinner while the soundtrack sounds like those soap operas when someone’s trying to be sneaky.
Was I supposed to be scared? Was I supposed to laugh? Was it supposed to be tacky? To have a thunder at the end of every line even if there wasn’t any rain? MOVIE, HELP ME UNDERSTAND YOU.
And then we have the first – of many – completely dumb and expositive dialogue. It’s so horribly obvious that it’s supposed to explain the story that it honestly looks like the movie is mocking you.
“Oh, wait, is this Billy?” “Ah, it is, he is ALWAYS nice on Christmas” “I get it, it’s because he killed his whole family on Christmas because of his mother and baked pieces of her as cookies to eat soon after.”
THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.
Another thing: the people who work at the hospice are very weird.
First, for talking about everything in a creepy way – as if they were in an episode of Courage, the Cowardly Dog – and second THE SECURITY GUARD ENTERS THE DUDE’S CELL AND LEAVES THE DOOR OPEN.
The dude KILLED and ATE people! The least they should do is the security level like Hannibal Lecter!
If I’m freaking out like Vergil screaming “you mock my intellect, scum”?! BUT OF COURSE I AM.
That’s when the timeline of the movie gets confusing. Because yes, they wanted a plot twist to make everyone super shocked, but all they could do was to confuse people a lot. Because remember there was a killing right at the start? And the guy escaped the hospice after? Then there’s another killer soon after and the guy didn’t even leave the hospice – so you can’t even understand well what’s going on.
Until the movie tells us the story of his sister who simply ~disappeared~ after the tragedy.
Thanks again, Captain Obvious, now I know the sister is alive and is the killer who’s on the house waiting her brother to come back.
So difficult to get (insert grumpy Vergil here. Again).
Some other technical aspects that bothered me:
- We have a continuity error! Yay!
- Sometimes angles are confusing and very dark, you can’t see much what is going on;
- The soundtrack. My friend, I’m sorry, I know it was the last work of the composer before dying but it sounds like a children thriller soundtrack, when they know they’ll do some mischief and get hugely scolded by their parents;
- Special effects. There are some effects that look, even Brazilian Dollynho (look it up) can be better, guys;
- Stupidity of the characters on the script just so they have a reason to stay on the house knowing there’s a wacko serial killer over there;
- Lack of feeling and chills. What does that mean? You don’t know if you’re supposed to laugh when someone dies of be scared. Yes, there are some deaths kinda disgusting and it’s a slasher movie, but the general composition (acting, music, editing, clearly fake effects) leave you at a huge doubt if it’s a sordid humor or if you have to take it serious;
Then there are some points that seriously bothered me and this movie is all wrong: seems like women in horror movies have only two modes – bad b**ch or little saint.
If she’s a bad b**tch, she’ll be foul mouthed, drinks, curses and generally hits on anything that moves. If she’s a little saint, she’ll be a good student, well behaved, goes to church, reads the Bible and says everything and everyone are wrong.
You know… Women have various facets. Tip of the day.
Oh, and also there’s always a classic excuse to appear a naked woman in a horror movie. Hollywood, get better.
Another point: for some reason in the UNIVERSE, the guy was born with yellow skin (literally) because of a liver malfunctioning, and it clearly was used to make him more monstrous and less human. Using a disease, a handicap (please correct me if this isn’t the right/respectful term, English isn’t my first language), a real condition to deem a character as creepy and inhuman is an ENDLESS COWARDICE. Those things have to stop being done on media means.
The characters are mentally ill and with a physical disease that alters their skin tone. But, for some reason, they move like zombies, are more immortal than Highlander, have an uncommon strength (but only when the movie wants it too), can barely speak things that make sense and are basically monsters, not even human anymore.
Seriously. Hannibal Lecter. There’s a serial killer with serious mental illnesses that doesn’t look like a crazy zombie dragging himself around with super strength – quite contrary, he’s a perfect silent lord judging you with his eyes. For more characters like this – and not stupid stereotypes that make society have even more prejudice towards different people, usually physically.
At the end, the people who died are taken to the same Hospital they are taking care of the living victims – why? PLOT CONVENIENCE, THAT’S WHY.
And the Highlander siblings wake up after pretending they’re dead, chase the last two survivors, kill one of them on the most anticlimatic and stupid possible manner that makes you mad that a powerhouse of a woman like that to have survived the movie to die that way, and then when the other presses the Emergency button desperately, people at the hospital is distracted with a Christmas choir and ignores the call.
You know when that would happen on a real hospital? Never. It isn’t for nothing that health service workers don’t have a life.
And I’m not gonna spoil how this crazy Christmas killing spree ends – I can only say it’s death by Christmas tree.
Is it bad? It is. I had no idea if it was serious or not. The deaths are because of stupidity after stupidity from the characters, the killers look like those from B TV movies and it looks like everytime someone finishes a line, we’ll have thunder and lightining while an evil laugh will reverberate through all the Universe.
My reactions during the whole movie can be summed up in only one GIF:
Want to Watch?
I don’t recommend. Really.
But if you want to venture yourself this Christmas in a trashy and unpretentious movie that will make you laugh, here’s this magnificent work on Youtube: