Black Christmas

Pretty much anyone going to see Black Christmas knows that the film is a determinedly feminist take on the slasher genre, with the trailer revealing an additional detour into Hammer Horror (and giving away the ending). That left some hope that the latest looting of the Black Christmas copyright would manage to be clever and inventive. Instead, this tale of sorority gals being stalked on campus is just two sight gags away from being Scary Movie VI. One preview audience certainly had a lot of problematic laughs at clearly inappropriate moments. The script is occasionally self-aware enough to mock itself as a dramatization of Twitter rants, but that can’t compensate for painful lapses in logic and enough self-censorship to guarantee a PG-13 rating. The only decent scare ends up being culturally appropriated from an acclaimed scene in 1990’s The Exorcist III. Veteran mumblecore director (and co-writer) Sophia Takal also tries stealing from a few giallo movies. Sadly, that mostly consists of using the genre’s dream logic in a painfully moronic manner. The only nod to the 1974 original is recreating the title graphic – and while the 2006 Black Christmas is best forgotten, the general ineptitude of this year’s take is a reminder of how great 2009’s Sorority Row was amidst that flurry of horror remakes.