Black Christmas (2006)
Directed and written by Glen Morgan
Produced by Glen Morgan, James Wong, Marty Adelstein, Dawn Parouse, Victor Solnicki, Steven Hoban, Ogden Gavanski, Kent Kubena, Satsuki Mitchell, Mike Upton, Marc Butan, Bob Clark, Mark Cuban, Scott Nemes, Noah Segal, Todd Wagner
Starring Katie Cassidy, Lacey Chabert, Michelle Trachtenberg, Kristen Cloke, Andrea Martin, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Crystal Lowe, Robert Mann, Oliver Hudson
At the crest of American cinema’s hateful horror remake trend, Morgan shamefully begat this detestably deviling, uninspired retread of Bob Clark’s festal, deviously pioneering slasher cult classic, in which a bedlamite telephonically terrorizes while attritionally slaughtering the inhabitants of a sorority house, as showy, senseless, scareless dreck. Enigmatic spree killer Billy is loudly heard and scarcely seen in the original, but here fully, artlessly expatiated and disambiguated in extended, exhaustively expositional flashbacks that negative every last scruple of the antagonist’s mystery or dread. In lieu of the compelling performances, visionary plotting and operative horror that distinguished Clark’s movie from its many imitations, Morgan assails his audience’s sensibilities with spat, witless dialogue idiomatic of a Gilmore Girls episode replete with stale one-liners, Shirley Walker’s mincing score, CG flame on a roasted marshmallow and unremitting prognostics via cliched cues and composition of every feeble attempt to evoke fright. Martin’s the sole sorority sister of the precedent movie present, cast as Marian Waldman’s housemother and faring slightly better with her doltish dialogue than most of her fellow professed performers. Gorgeous, gifted Winstead and Trachtenberg also retain some hint of dignity as they tread the histrionic water of their characters’ kiddie pool; predictably, neither quite lasts an hour. Marred by a grating voice (with which she slurs her every uttered sibilant, often unintelligibly), the jutting anteriors of her meretricious mug and a downright destitution of appeal, Cassidy’s unfit as a supernumerary, much less a leading lady — a disgrace to her mad, masterfully suave grandfather — and can’t elicit a whit of sympathy as the designated Last Girl. A few gory enucleations, dismemberments and impalements are ably actualized with messy practical effects, but so idiotically ill-conceived that they scarcely warrant notice. Nearly nine minutes/one-tenth of this feature’s excruciating eighty-six were alloted to its end credits, in which a lengthy list of administrative and insurance contributions abound to eclipse those of its predecessor’s entire cast and crew as an appropriate emblem of this industry’s irredeemable dysfunction. Morgan persists in the production of pap, but thankfully hasn’t helmed a pic since.
Black Christmas (2006)