Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Black Xmas Review

Holiday Horror 2009

Black Xmas

Another day, another Christmas horror film to watch and review. I’m actually already tired of the genre, as it seems so obvious that these things are lackluster by all measures. However, this 2006 remake was more than just a throwaway remake, they paid for some talent and they spent some time making the film and editing it to good measure. I know, these remakes have a tendency to put a damper on things, and if you’re one of those people that just hate remakes and won’t even see them, then this film is obviously not for you. However, for the more discerning of you that are just junkies here we go, another film to look at.

As with the previous incarnation of Black Christmas, this film is a rated R slasher fest. However, where the other film left you thinking and imagining things, this film not only sexes it up, it also makes sure you see gore for all it’s bloody glory. That’s where we start our first point, this film has gore with no apologies. From eyes being severed and pulled out, to blood gushing from the neck, to a candy cane well placed in the jugular, they do not hold back on your senses. You hear it, the choking, the coughing, and you see it, the red darkness of life slip out of these actors as if there is no tomorrow! Black Christmas is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

The film starts off relatively slow, and moves through a lot of different points to create an atmosphere much denser than the original film. My problems with the original film were addressed here. The pacing is sped up, but the characters lack that substance that makes you care about them. While I cared about the characters in the original film, this film didn’t really make me care for any of the sorority sisters.

If you get creeped out by old ladies, weird sounds, and gore. This one is not going to be for you. There is a sickening amount of attention given to such details as decapitation, bludgeoning, and at one point the serial killer eats an eyeball! Yep.

Is Black Xmas Scary? Yes.

This is the first film I’ve seen that not only plays with my fear of being invaded at my home, but the unyielding fear that someone is going to not only eat my eyeball, but is also going to cook my skin in cookie cutter form into angels. Yep, I’m scared.

Seriously, this is what horror films should always amount to. A good source for violence, horror, brutality, and of course sex. There’s so much in this film in such a short time, as if the film borrows from a lot of different genres. It even borrows from cannibal movies as the main character eats cookies made out of human skin.

The flashbacks lead to the current story, and the current story blends seamlessly through the transitional stages. That being said, this film looks great. It’s usage of red, yellow, green, and so many other colors really sparks an interest in the motif’s that are set by the director of photography. It’s little details like this that make this film a bit better than many other remakes on the same time line and dare I say genre format.

The camera angles are great in this film. You don’t just get voyeurism for the sake of voyeurism. You get nudity, and disgust, as well as point of view shots similar to the first one. There’s just so much done in this film to try a little more than the previous incarnation of this film. The clarity and focus mixed with the gore effects and the updated story make for a great time. While I don’t think this is the greatest of the holiday horror movies, I appreciate the way this one was constructed. Much like I enjoyed Rob Zombie’s Halloween remakes, I really dug the way this one tried to dive more into the greater story that could be created with the same style of characters. This is far more brutal both in focus and out of focus, and adds spice where it needs spice. Black Xmas is going to be in the upper tiers of your holiday horror collection, bank on it.

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1 comment:

  1. jervaise brooke hamsterNovember 14, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    I want to bugger Michelle Trachtenberg (as she was in 2003 when she was 18, not as she is now obviously).


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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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