• Martyn Wakefield

BLACK CHRISTMAS [2019] (REVIEW)

Dir. Sophia Takal

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

BLACK CHRISTMAS the third is a secondary remake of the 1978 festive slasher classic that, quite bluntly, has nothing in common with either previous version with the exception of the murder of a group of teens at Christmas. Imagine if HALLOWEEN was remade without Michael Myers, if ROSEMARY'S BABY without an actual pregnancy or even POLTERGEIST without an ancient burial ground, then you are halfway to understanding BLACK CHRISTMAS' lack of relevance to it's namesake is.


A group of female students is stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break. That is until the young sorority pledges discover that the killer is part of an underground college conspiracy. And it's this conspiracy which leaves a lump of coal inside the beautifully wrapped parcel.


Despite a gripping central performance from Imogen Poots but the film is full of contradictions and ultimately a poorly executed twist that feels more tokenism than committed. Even Cary Elwes is laughably bad as an over the top evil bad guy with a bizarre twist that the male counterparts to the College are actually all part of a supernatural cult by the founder of the college who knew one day that women would "step above their station". The fact that we live in a world where men get to positions of power through a society of patriarchy there is no need for a supernatural element to excuse it. Somehow real world problems that could have been an interesting plot device are reduced to a supernatural excuse which could stand on its own if it wasn't such a real world issue. All while the delta housemates prepare for a song and dance for the alphas and culminates in a slow build up of female corpses.


The film tries to use a horror classic that really stood for something (real girl power surviving the killer before it was a trope) and makes a mockery. Put in with that a lack of actual on screen death or anything close to the terror of either the classic or 2006 remake really means BLACK CHRISTMAS 2019 is nothing more than a forgettable attempt at trying to politicise something in the moment.


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