Rawlins Review: Black Christmas

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Katie Cassidy

Last night, I spent Valentine’s Day watching a Christmas movie. Not a normal Christmas movie, though. It was Black Christmas, one of a few horror movies centered around Christmas (think Krampus). I know this movie came out a little over ten years ago and probably has enough reviews written about it, but I’m adding one more just in case anyone happens to stumble across it while flipping through the channels one day. This is a warning. Keep flipping.

The Good:

There isn’t a whole lot to rave about with this movie. It has more gross-out appeal than horror and most of the deaths occur off-screen. It has some moments, though, like when Billy kills his family and eats cookies made out of his mom’s flesh. That’s pretty twisted. The movie’s pretty short so they jump into the action right from the beginning. You don’t have to sit around waiting for the first sorority girl to be murdered, it happens before the title pops up. The plot twist is pretty unexpected. You probably won’t see it coming, but some of the knowledge gained from that experience goes unexplained and leaves some holes in the plot. Ramona Flowers, Harriet the Spy, Gretchen Weiners, and Juliet Sharp pretty much made the movie tolerable with their good looks.

The Bad:

None of the murdered characters are likeable. Like I said earlier, the movie is pretty short. What they make up for in quickened action, they lack in character development. You never care about any of the characters. Not even a little bit. Not even when they’re brutally murdered (off-camera) and propped up like mannequins around a Christmas tree. The villain is also just plain dumb. And yellow. Not in a good way like the guy from Sin City. The only reason I can think of for why he’s yellow is so that the writer could explain why his mother hated him. There’s no other reason for it. This leads us to another event that makes no sense. Towards the middle of the movie, it’s revealed that Billy’s mom made him impregnate her. She hates him and locks him away but then goes and has a kid with him? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Another thing that doesn’t make sense to me is how he could have killed a man, hacked him up, and shoved him into a garbage bag without anyone noticing, especially since the dead man’s arm was sticking out of the bag. Suspension of disbelief only goes so far. Another problem I had with this movie was how most of the deaths occurred off-screen. They had a few intense, gory scenes, and then shied away from showing half of the characters being killed as if this were a PG-13 movie. Not to mention that one of the few on-screen deaths was caused by a low-hanging icicle that somehow impaled a woman’s skull. I figure the only reason it was rated R was because they said the f word more than once and showed a girl taking a shower to demonstrate how Billy was always watching the girls. The “Billy is always watching” thing got a little out of hand, though, when the film tries to get us to believe that he can spy on the girls through a hole made by a thumbtack. Those usually don’t go all the way through the wall and are hardly big enough to see through. There are so many more things wrong with this movie like the cheating boyfriend bit that played no part in the plot or how the most interesting parts of the trailer don’t even show up in the movie because they were filmed after the movie was finished and sent out.

The Verdict:

I think you get it by now. Don’t watch this movie. I only watched it because I was flipping through the channels and saw that Mary Elizabeth Winstead was in it. It might have been worth it if she was the main character but she wasn’t so it wasn’t. And did I mention that the villain was yellow? Not just jaundiced, but bright yellow! Ridiculous.

Follow me: @RawlinsReview/@KallMeKarter

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