review for Black Christmas on AllMovie

Black Christmas (2006)
by Jeremy Wheeler review

In the time since the remake craze took over Hollywood, rarely has there been an example of such slapdash slasher sludge than 2006's revamp of Bob Clark's seminal shocker, Black Christmas. Shunning the stripped down simplicity of the original, this vapid redo dares to craft a new expansive plot where none was needed in the first place. Far-too-forgiving viewers might go along with the predictable proceedings all well and good, but when it comes down to it, someone needs to be held responsible for this hunk of junky cinema. Whether it was the widely rumored studio interference or writer/director Glen Morgan's wrong-headed approach to adapting the project, there's plenty of blame to go around when genre audiences are through with this one. For starters, the filmmakers have decided to follow rule one of the remake trend and ridiculously explain the killer's back-story, which couldn't be more of a mistake when one considers how random and mysterious the psychopath was is in the original. Secondly -- and yes, we're dealing with spoilers here -- there is not one, but two killers, which is every bit as silly and stupid of a plot scheme as they come. It's not as if Morgan hadn't watched the first film either -- proof comes in the form of the killer's M.O., a suffocating bag-over-the-head technique was chilling when used sparingly before, becomes tired even before the halfway point. Also in question is the remake's eyeball fixation, no doubt inspired by a brief, chilling shot in the original -- only here, the entire movie is doused with so many eyeball through holes in the floors, walls, and never mind the incessant eyeball gore, that it completely loses its power and just like the rest of the film, becomes an old hat trick real quick. Taken simply as a stupid slasher entry, the flick might actually age better with future audiences mocking the preposterous proceedings, though hopefully they'll have the still very effective first film to compare it to.