Santa Claus ain't the only one coming to town in Black Christmas, a tongue in (bloody) cheek remake of a little-seen 70s slasher flick. It's a few nights before Christmas and all through the sorority house nothing is stirring... except for Billy Lenz (Robert Mann), a murderer who's escaped from the local insane asylum. Katie Cassidy leads the teen scream queens, trying not to end up dead by Christmas dawn, while writer/director Glen Morgan winks at the audience till his eyeballs are plucked out.
It's been thirty-two years since Bob Clark's shamefully forgotten Black Christmas hit cinemas. Sadistic and nasty, its innovative stalk 'n' slash formula paved the way for Halloween and Friday the 13th. Morgan and producer James Wong (Final Destination) treat the original with respect, keeping the killer's grisly modus operandi (disturbingly violent suffocations) intact, while adding half a movie's worth of psychotic back-story.
"DECKED WITH HOLLY, MISTLETOE AND POPPED EYEBALLS"
It's no Scream, but it lives up to its title, a black (comedy) Christmas movie, with halls decked with holly, mistletoe and a Christmas tree full of popped eyeballs. Unlike the recent When a Stranger Calls remake (which also starred Cassidy), Black Christmas has the smarts to be playful, with a choice selection of festive slasher gags pushing the envelope of bad taste: a candy cane's sucked into a stabbing weapon and angel-shaped cookie cutters do more than cut cookies. The result's an undemanding multiplex filler - a ho-ho-horror movie that knows it's the season to be jolly.
Black Christmas is released in UK cinemas on Friday 15th December 2006.