Starring Andrea Martin and Margot Kidder, the 1974 horror film black christmas is the definition of campy fun. The story of sorority sisters tormented by a killer has become iconic, and there have been many films that follow the same idea of characters hiding in a house. Like the 1979 movie When a stranger calls, black christmas is an entertaining slasher that’s perfect for horror fans who want to catch up on the classics. Both films feature talented and popular actors, an enjoyable story to follow, and just the right amount of cheesiness.
While it makes sense that a popular horror movie would eventually get a remake, black christmas has two: one in 2006 and one in 2019. How do these films compare?
Remakes usually aren’t great, and since there were two remakes of the classic 70s horror flick black christmas, this begs the question of which remake is better. The 2006 film follows the sorority sisters at Delta Alpha Kappa in New Hampshire played by Lacey Chabert, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michelle Trachtenberg and Katie Cassidy. Billy (Robert Mann) is the killer, and he has a dark and scary past as he killed his mother and her boyfriend. Now he’s back at the sorority house, seeking revenge. The 2019 film stars Imogen Poots as Riley, a Hawthorne College sorority girl who learns that the person who kills students is part of a cult. Although the 2019 movie has a message, it’s not very well done, which makes the 2006 movie much better.
The 1974 film feels groundbreaking, being one of the first films to be set in a sorority house, showing that there’s plenty of horror to be found on a college campus. It’s possible to see the 2006 remake as superior to the 2019 film as it leans into being a cheesy horror movie. The characters are relatable, understandable, fun-loving students who enjoy being part of a community that just wants to enjoy the holidays and, as they begin to be hunted down by the killer, come out alive.
black christmas (2019) has a feminist message with good intentions, but the film is poorly executed. Riley finds that a cult that brainwashes women is subordinate to them as they want to take over Hawthorne College and have only males running the campus. By the time the film gets to this point, there haven’t been enough terrifying moments for the reveal to pay off. It’s not a classic, timeless horror movie plot. Instead, it feels like the film is using the subject of sexism and misogyny for a “plot” that should be shocking but feels right. If a horror movie is going to be about something so important and serious, it really needs to be discussed carefully, and that’s not happening here. The movie wasn’t popular with horror fans, and many felt the slasher didn’t bring much to the table. The film has a 3.4 out of 10 rating on IMDb and a 31% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The 2006 remake of black christmas stars Andrea Martin as Barbara, the sorority mother, and she portrayed the role of Phyllis in the 1974 film. Andrea Martin said The audiovisual club in an interview that she was thrilled to be in the remake. The actor said, “I loved the idea that I was a sorority girl in the 70s and the stay-at-home mom in 2006. You know, I was interested in being a part of it and seeing where this sequel or remake would get you, but I think there was a real difference between the movies The first movie didn’t have the advantage – in fact, maybe “advantage” isn’t the good word – but it didn’t have the addition of really graphic imagery and it was more up to your imagination I think the first movie we did was actually scarier Whereas the original movie is really scary , the 2006 film is disturbing and chilling, as audiences learn that Billy turned his dead mother into cookies, an image that’s hard to forget but adds to the film’s sometimes silly tone.
But because the 2006 black christmas has fun, campy moments that balance out the darkness, it comes across as the kind of horror movie that fans can just sit back and watch without having to think too much. Sometimes that can be a welcome part of the genre. Horror movie remakes range from good to bad, and while horror fans might not find much to like in the 2019 black christmasthe 2006 film is a fun ride.
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