What is most
striking about the reboot of the 1974 horror flick Black Christmas is
that the themes are fully developed in the new film. Set around Christmas break
at a small liberal arts college, a series of girls go missing, which starts a
chain of events that leads to all out combat with a killer...or killers(?). The
the plot here brings to light themes of feminism, victim blaming, and toxic
masculinity, and for the most part the film works really well.
performances throughout are stellar with an on-point performance from Imogen
Poots as the resilient, damaged lead Riley. Caleb Eberhardt serves as her
hapless and dorky love interest Landon. Their chemistry provides some fun
awkwardness, but the women stand alone.
standout character is Kris, a fellow sister, played by Aleyse Shannon who
serves as the de-facto social justice warrior. Riley's character, in contrast,
is complicated as a victim of sexual assault. These added complexities are
something not at all present in the original and make for a much stronger film.
In addition, the performance of Cary Elwes as Professor Gelson is creepy,
intimidating, and effective. Black Christmas shines in its moments of
suspense and tension.
scenes where the sisters are chased around their pitch black house are
sequenced extremely well, playing with dark rooms as a means of creating
tension, though not the first to do so. It also captures the aesthetic of a
sorority house at a liberal arts college, which is rustic and run-down with
pipes peeking through stucco walls, which are tinny at best.
sisters' conflict with the killers develops well for the first hour, however as
it reached the climax the film pushed into slightly absurd territory. Black
Christmas relied on a conspiracy as a crutch, instead of tightening up what
worked in the first half of the film, but it's a fun and dark romp for the