What is it with horror films today? They just seemingly lack all original wit and style. And let’s not even mention the remakes that Hollywood forces on us. Having just finally watched John Carpenter’s Halloween (yes I know!!), forcing myself to watch the drab Black Christmas almost made me cringe.
A group of sorority sisters, after getting snowed in after the holiday break, try desperately to survive the night. Surviving from the intense cold isn’t the game plan of the film, but rather trying to survive from a relentless killer. The killer, for some reason, wants to kill all the girls. We never quite learn why exactly that is, but apparently the killer use to live in that sorority house. I guess that’s just a fine reason to start killing people on Christmas Eve.
The film is a remake of the 1974 Bob Clark film of the same name. While Clark’s film, similar to Carpenter’s original vs. Zombie’s remake, relied on the actual scare of the game, this remake just throws random hotties (not that I mind that) into situations were they act so stupid that we almost wish they’d die. And luckily for us most of them do.
I suppose I’m a bit too harsh on remakes of horror films, but it just feels like Hollywood studios are basically insulting our intelligence with films like this. Why do they feel that it’s necessary to stick random, attractive, stars (most of which aren’t convincing) in these films. Sure it’s to sell tickets, but I just expect more as the genre of horror has had so many truly frightening films in its history. Maybe I’m just a scrooge? Bah humbug!
Presented in a 1080p, AVC/MPEG-4 Encoded, 2:35:1 Widescreen Aspect Ratio, Black Christmas looks just fine when compared to recent horror films hitting both formats.
Color usage, oddly enough, was bright. While that might sound like a positive, when you think of a horror film, do you think of bright sequences? Imagine if your heroine was cowering in the corner and, instead of the killer stepping in from the shadows, he stepped into the scene all while being perfectly seen. How ineffective no? That’s the problem with this transfer. The colors were too bright. But, despite the colors being too bright, I did like how the print, which benefits from being new, contained no real grain, detail was decent and sharpness was exemplary. Overall, minus the colors seeming too bright for the content at hand, this is a fine transfer.
Arriving with the standard (well for Weinstein at least) Dolby TrueHD, Black Christmas sounds really creepy (read good).
Dialogue was simple, clear and easy to comprehend. Surround usage was effective only because of the theme the film brings out. I like how well the film’s surrounds enveloped the room in a very convincing manner. Little effects add to the film’s overall quality, particularly the ending sequence. Even though the sequence itself is incredibly cheesy and we can see the ending coming from 100 miles away, I loved the overall effectiveness of the track. Great job here!
- Alternate Endings: Here we get 3!!different endings. I’m not even going to go into describing the scenes, as they’re completely ridiculous and out of this world.
- Deleted Scenes: Here we get 7 different deleted scenes, most which serve as scene extensions. The sequences themselves are nothing special as nearly every single one of them adds more gore than actual substance.
- May all your Christmases be Black: A Filmmakers’ Journey: Running 26 minutes in length, this chronicled diary is hilarious. Why you might ask? Simply because of one sequence where director Glen Morgan mentions, and I quote; “I fucking hate stupid jump scare sequences.” How bad ass is that? Simply put, watch this one just for that one line.
- What Have you Done? The Remaking of Black Christmas: At 27 minutes in length, this making-of is good enough with a majority of the sequences coming from handheld camera on-set footage.
As an HD DVD release, Black Christmas scores in every department except the all important film department. Had it not been for the ridiculously terrible film, this HD DVD would be a fantastic disc. Right now though, it’s just mediocre.