Twas the Night for Bloodshed – Black Xmas
Christmas comes but once a year. With the season, the horror genre embraces the holiday spirit and mixes traditions with utter mayhem.
Black Christmas (2006) is a remake of the 70s classic title. I have yet to see the original Black Christmas (1974), which is another holiday film I plan on reviewing either this holiday season or next.
Black Christmas tells the story of sorority sisters who are snowed in over the holiday break. Trying desperately to survive the night, the group of sorority sisters are being terrorized and murdered by a relentless killer, one by one.
I knew the story: Crazed murderer traveling back home for the holidays, offing everyone in his way to return. The sorority house is actually his old home, brimming with memories of murder and sexual abuse. Who wouldn’t want to come home to that? Billy wants to be home for the holidays, which would be a lot nicer than his room in the sanitarium that he has been holed up in for years.
Being free to view the film with fresh and untainted eyes, I enjoyed the use of Christmas-related objects as murder weapons. The story was not meaty but it went straight to the carnage and mayhem of this Christmas tale, nor did I expect some grade-A dialogue in this film. Christmas-related horror films are limited in my film collection, which means I have nothing to compare it to at the moment.
Top 10 Holiday Moments in the Film
1. Candy cane to the jugular, Billy delivers a killing blow to the guard searching his cell for him. Billy gave him a present before he killed him, showing the Christmas spirit even as he licked the end of the candy cane to a pointed weapon. How sweet.
2. Billy disguises himself as the Santa Clause who delivered presents to the children’s ward of the hospital. Billy even put the man’s body in the present sack on his back to dispose of it outside. I knew a Santa Clause suit would be used to its advantage once I saw that poor white-bearded schmuck walk into the criminally insane ward.
3. Strangulation by twinkle lights, back in the day Billy killed his mother with a string of Christmas lights. Festive and affordable.
4. Milk and flesh cookies? It took it too far, I was not disturbed by it but I just thought it was a bit much. Even though Billy used a Christmas cookie cutter to cut chunks of flesh from his mother’s back.
5. Leigh snarls out “Fuck you, Santa Clause” when searching for her baby sister in the sorority house. She opens one of the doors to find a red-cheeked plastic bust of Santa, which startles her.
6. This was an accident and it is the least Christmas-related death. Ms. Mac gets skewered by an overhanging icicle that falls from the house. Sharp.
7. Lauren is killed by one of her sorority sister’s present: A crystal unicorn bust figurine. Stabbed repeatedly until she is dead, poor Lauren didn’t even get out of bed.
8. Eyeballs as Christmas decorations for the tree in the attic, where Billy was locked up. Disgusting! I will admit, eyeballs are my weakness in all horror films, it just gives me shivers and makes my eyes water. The Christmas tree in the attic is topped with a head, another of the sister’s dead bodies being used to set the Christmas scene.
9. A familiar melody is heard throughout the film, whether it is a cellphone ringtone or being played from a snow globe. The melody is from the ballet, The Nutcracker.
10. The final showdown between the surviving sorority sister and Billy. “Merry Christmas, mother fucker,” Kelly snaps. Billy ends up dead, skewered on the large Christmas tree in the hospital. Happy holidays, you son of a bitch!
Black Christmas is just okay when you really look at the film. If you are looking for some gore and holiday mayhem, this film is going to give it to you. If you want something more, I would look somewhere else. For what it is, Black Christmas was a fun romp for me with the Christmas-related weapons. Even though I could do without the eye-popping stabs, Black Christmas is a simple treat for any horror fan looking for some gore in their holiday season.