Did you see what day it was?! Did you see the name of the movie?! Okay fine, I’ll admit that this isn’t any sort of “Christmas classic” or anything, but it does have Christmas in the title. Unless, of course, you get the DVD and notice that it calls itself “Black Xmas”. Either way, I watched it recently and because I was lazy when it came to reviewing, the timeline of events allowed this to get posted on the holiest of molies. Ya know, like “holy moly”? Whatever. Here’s the goddamn review.
Could have used a little more cleavage and a few more pairs of Ugg boots to truly capture the spirit of a sorority house.
This remake starts in an asylum with guards bringing food to an inmate on Christmas, when that inmate uses a sharpened candy cane to kill guards and escape. We cut to a babe-filled sorority house which is having it’s annual Christmas party as a blizzard descends upon it. As if a house full of drunk sorority ladies wasn’t dramatic enough, there’s also some drama involving a sex tape and one of the girls’ boyfriends? Anyways, that boyfriend shows up and there’s an argument that results in him letting the girls know the history of the house. The family included a mom who had murdered her husband and remarried, and a little boy with a skin condition that made his skin yellow. One day, the mom snapped and murdered her new husband, as well as raped Billy, they boy, and eventually gave birth to another yellow-skinned psycho named Agnes. Eventually the boy also snapped and murdered his mother, and used a cookie-cutter to make Christmas cookies out of his mother’s skin. Gross! Would it surprise you to find out that the man in the insane asylum in the beginning was this boy, and that he’s the reason why sorority sisters have been disappearing all night? It turns out that Agnes has been living in the attic and between the walls of the house, and Billy has come back to join her. A bunch of the characters die, and eventually Agnes has her head defibrillated to death and Billy gets impaled on a Christmas tree. Sounds more like a RED Christmas, am I right?!
Agnes was missing one of her eyes, so I’m sure there was SOME reason why she removed the victim’s eyes, but the reasons were completely lost on me. Oh well!
This movie gets a lot of shit and has terrible reviews, but ya know what? They’re all pretty much right. To say that this movie is “good”, by any stretch of the imagination, wouldn’t quite be accurate. You might remember my review of the original film, and in case you don’t, it is regarded by most to be a pioneer in the “slasher” genre. Considering where the slasher genre is now, or where it was in 2006, it was highly unlikely for this film, let alone ANY film, have a lasting impact on the slasher genre in any way, shape, or form. I assume the filmmakers knew this, and rather than have it be a typical contemporary slasher, they went a much weirder route. The whole thing about the family’s skin being yellow? That’s a plot point that never really made any sense, other than it was weird and made the murderers in this movie look even creepier. Most of the onscreen deaths included huge explosions of blood, and one scene towards the end shows Agnes and Billy having adorned their Christmas tree with the severed heads of their victims with their eyes removed. What it lacked in ground-breaking, genre-defining plot structure and tone, they attempted to make for in disturbingly strange imagery. From the way the flashback sequences are shot to how poorly lit each scene is to the over-the-top stereotypes of bitchy sorority girls, what this film lacks in originality, subtlety and mood, it makes up for in exaggerated characters and the entire film looking strange. Might not be considered a holiday classic, or any type of classic, but it has just enough gore to keep you interested, and just enough Christmas nostalgia that it’s something I don’t mind watching each year.
Wolfman Moon Scale