Fango heard this morning from a source who checked out an advance screening of MGM/Dimension’s BLACK CHRISTMAS, and filed this report:
“I just saw the new version of BLACK CHRISTMAS, written and directed by Glen Morgan, who did a good job—I thought—on the WILLARD remake. This movie is more like his and partner James Wong’s FINAL DESTINATION 3—a lot of kids you don’t care about getting killed in very nasty ways. The gore is pretty extreme, and hopefully the MPAA won’t trim too much of it because it’s the highlight of the film. I won’t give away the details, but I will say that the killer has interesting tastes in Christmas munchies! The other best part of the movie is Andrea Martin [pictured], who was in Bob Clark’s original film, returning to play the housemother. She gives a funny performance, including a couple of moments that I’m sure she made up on set.
“Unfortunately, all the girls in the movie are pretty interchangable, and it’s a good thing a lot of the actresses are recognizable from other movies and TV—like Michelle Trachtenberg from BUFFY and Lacey Chabert from PARTY OF FIVE—because that’s the only way you can tell them apart! They spend most of the first part of the movie complaining about their assorted problems and feelings about Christmas, and you don’t really sympathize with them much when they start getting killed. The audience was actually cheering the murders from the very first one!
“Unlike the original, the remake spends a lot of time explaining who the killer ‘Billy’ is and what made him so crazy. Some of the flashbacks are creepy and gross, but I preferred the way it was done the first time, where you never knew who the killer was, which made it scarier. There are some homages to the previous film, including the crystal unicorn and the fact that Billy was imprisoned in the ‘Clark Sanitarium,’ but also a lot of silly scenes and dialogue, especially at the ending that goes way over the top. So the new BLACK CHRISTMAS might work for some people as a fun gorefest, but it’s not nearly as frightening as the original. Hopefully MGM and Dimension won’t cut it for a PG-13, ‘cause they’ll lose the stuff that works best!”