Black Christmas (2006)

Pretty much the worst thing ever to have happened.
Glen Morgan
Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert
The Setup: 
Psychos stalk sorority house.

Oh my god the pain. The pain! I was not going to see this, but then a reader I like wrote and told me he found it hilarious. He also said he and his friends were drunk off their asses. I can totally see how this would be hilarious of you were drunk off your ass and with friends, but I cannot see enjoying it under any other conditions. And I was not under those conditions.

I watched the original after the remake of When a Stranger Calls came out, and didn’t like it. Everyone else loves it, I know, and it’s considered a horror classic, but I found it boring, not scary, not haunting, and not amusing. I was, however, LONGING to be sitting there watching it while this piss was on.

You know what, I'm not even going to bother downloading pictures from this. Okay fine, but just ONE, to put on the home page:

So we begin at this sorority house on Christmas. Many of the girls are staying there over the holiday, and they’re going to have a little party for themselves. But one of them gets a plastic bag over her face, then gets stabbed in the eye.

Then we’re at this mental institution where Billy Lenz is being held. He used to have incest with his mother, and she bore his child, a girl named Agnes, and then the mother locked him in a closet, where he would watch the love the mother gave Agnes but denied him. So he kidnapped the baby and used cookie-cutters to remove angel-shaped pieces of Mom's flesh, which he then roasted and ate. He tries to escape from the mental institution every year at Christmas, and this year he succeeds.

Now, all of this is told in flashbacks that are spread out throughout the first half of the movie, in such a way that you have no idea what’s happening when, but really don’t care. Mixed with this are sequences of the girls doing college girl things, like gazing at their cell phones, calling others on their cell phones, using cell phones as flashlights, texting on cell phones, being haughty to each other, and being little bitchy know-it-alls to each other. Among these peeps are Michelle Trachtenberg of Buffy, and Lacey Chabert of Party of Five and Lost in Space, both of whom are glammed-out to the max and looking pretty good. There’s also the main girl from Final Destination 3, and someone who is a vague Ali Larter stand-in, but I never caught who she was. It takes them forever to realize that people are getting killed around them, that the killer is in the house [which isn’t even a big deal in this one], and that they need to get out. Every now and then someone gets killed in fairly similar and tension-free ways, usually something involving eyes. Seriously this whole movie is about getting your eyeballs out and having someone eat them.

If you’ve seen the original, the only things retained are the curiously inert and suspense-draining setting. The first victim IS in the attic, but not nearly as big a deal is made out of it than in the original. The prank phone calls are here, too, but have next to nothing to do with anything. One of the girls is a drunk, but she has no distinction as the Margot Kidder character in the first, and the house mother here has only this useless perky attitude that is both funny and SO tedious.

It goes from making little sense to making absolutely no sense. I swear they just shot random “Christmas Slasher” material, then edited it by adding whichever footage the dart landed on next. Aside from that, there’s the characters. Almost all super-glam pretty girls with cell phones [which they use so much—even as flashlights—that you seriously expect a “Call 1-800-2-join-in” to appear in the lower left evey few minutes], they’re indistinguishable, although I found their snotty, bitchy, know-it-all attitude they spew at each other to be vaguely funny. But one doesn’t like or care about them—one really doesn’t get to know them—and so you just watching all these nobodies get killed and then be stupid about it.

Then there’s the climax, and you are like “Jesus, thank you for making this movie end. I promise to believe in you this year if you just make this movie end.” But, little kids, proof that God is not a benevolent ruler forces itself upon you with horrific violence as you realize that this movie is not over, even though it, you know, ENDED, and that there’s another useless and nonsensical and interminable climax to come. Seriously, if you find yourself seeing this movie and you have the inclination to sneak into another movie, go for it, because it is NOT going to redeem itself in its final moments.

I can totally see how this would be the funniest shit ever IF you were drunk—SIGNIFICANTLY drunk—and with friends. Please do NOT attempt to watch it under any other circumstances.

Should you watch it: 

NO! No! No! And if you must, be drunk or on drugs or some shit.

BLACK CHRISTMAS is the original, and while I didn’t love it, it clearly laid the groundwork for a lot of slasher movies to come and looks like Citizen Kane next to this.