Black X-Mas (2006)

As the holiday season quickly approaches, for many it is a joyous time, of families coming together, with ample celebration and merriment, which makes the bleak winter months seem more bearable. It is these feelings that many like to invert for some delicious irony. In 2006, James Wong and Glen Morgan rebooted the classic 70s horror film, updating the content to appeal to the tastes of modern audiences, as a sorority house got to grips with a snowbound slasher in Black X-mas.

The 2006 remake ups the shocking content to the nines, as it gets into the backstory of Billy and his family!

Much like the original, Black X-mas starts in a sorority house with a ghastly murder, yet the unsuspecting residents each have their concerns, as college students tend to do. They will have to spend a lot more time ruminating on these issues as they’re snowbound together. They now have to deal with a bloodthirsty killer who is hiding in their very home, having escaped from a mental asylum. Can the students survive until help gets to them, as they get to grips with not only their issues but the deadly issues that lurk deep in the house?

Billy is back, and he’s more bloodthirsty (and festive) than ever!

Black X-mas certainly spares no time getting to the gory detail, enhancing the implied horror to provide a disgusted chill for the audiences of the new millennium. A large aspect of the film is spent building up Billy, once again, in a move that feels like it is catering for newer audiences. This Billy was locked in an attic, because of his jaundice. He has a family that abused him heavily, a sister (who is his daughter) and a penchant for eating eyeballs. All scandalously communicated through the use of flashbacks that spare no details. While the 70s classic did have plenty of shocking moments, here the remake takes the scale right up to 11, once again appealing to more accustomed tastes for all things squeamish.

Secrets lie deep in the household that could put the residents at odds with each other… Despite Billy!

This remake is another collaboration of James Wong and Glen Morgan, who brought you Dragonball Evolution and Final Destination 3, also from that film is Mary Elizabeth Winstead who once again is great here. She is joined by Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Dawn Summer from the hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Harper’s Island’s own Katie Cassidy plays Kelli Presley, who has a really tough act to follow, after the impact of Olivia Hussey in the original, but here, Cassidy does a fine enough job.

Black X-mas amasses an interesting collection of mid-2000s talent, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to Final Destination 3.

Black X-mas is yet another remake for audiences of today, visceral, to the point, and with just an edge of cynicism, you certainly can’t say it’s copying the original. You also can’t help but admire the lengths they go to dwell on the discomfort of its subject, sparing no expenses for the audience, capturing the hellish reality of being trapped. Yet, if you can stomach its extremes you will find a remake that’s not afraid to be interesting, one that you wouldn’t mind finding placed inside your Christmas stocking, this holiday season.

While the 70s classic is a tough act to follow, the cast here does a good job!

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