BLACK CHRISTMAS. (2019) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

BLACK CHRISTMAS. (2019) BASED ON THE 1974 MOVIE WRITTEN BY A. ROY MOORE.
DIRECTED BY SOPHIA TAKAL. SCREENPLAY WRITTEN BY SOPHIA TAKAL AND APRIL WOLFE.
CO-PRODUCED BY JASON BLUM OF BLUMHOUSE PRODUCTIONS.
STARRING IMOGEN POOTS, BRITTANY O’GRADY AND CARY ELWES.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘Maybe Brian Huntley will think twice before he rapes another girl.’

This festive slasher movie is the second re-make of the famous 1974 film of the same name, but its’ themes of political correctness and women empowering themselves to stop taking men’s abuse/bullshit/sexual and other violence any more makes it a vastly different film to the original one.

I’m not even sure how men would feel about this re-make, written and directed by women and calling ‘frat boys’ out on their ‘rape culture.’ I don’t think the message of the film is that we should hate men exactly, but it definitely wants us to be wary of anyone with a penis, in case they try to put it in us after slipping us a ‘roofie,’ as per the film’s wonderfully shocking theme song.

Part of me while watching this was going, like, yay, women! You damn well empower yourselves, lol. The part that was seeking sheer holiday escapism, however, was a bit miffed that the film-makers tried to sneak in some modern-day themes of male violence against women, but, hey, maybe that’s what we should be doing nowadays, filling our films with socially conscious messages, I just don’t know.

The sorority girls of Hawthorne College, beautifully decked out for Christmas (the college, I mean, not the girls, although the girls look lovely too!), are getting ready to spend the holiday season on campus, for various reasons. A load of staff and students have already gone home for Christmas, so the college is emptier than usual.

The viewer knows, however, from the opening scenes, that a black-cloaked, masked killer has set his sights on the women of our sorority house. He has already brutally murdered one young lady, in scenes eerily reminiscent of the real-life abduction of college girl Georgann Hawkins by serial killer Ted Bundy in the early ‘Seventies.

Georgann was literally walking the very short distance home at night from the frat house where her boyfriend lived back to her sorority house. They’d been studying for a Spanish test which was to take place the next morning. Ted Bundy intercepted her somewhere along this very short route and walked off with her into the darkness. Georgann was never seen alive again.

Anyway, our sorority girls, led by Imogen Poots as Riley, have really pissed off the male population of Hawthorne College. At the college’s Christmas concert, four of them, dressed in sexy Santa outfits, get up onstage and call out the lads for the above-mentioned rape culture they seem to be embracing.

It’s not just empty words on the girls’ parts, however, as Riley has direct, first-hand experience of being raped by Brian Huntley, one of the top frat boys. Plus, in all seriousness, there probably isn’t a sorority woman alive who hasn’t experienced some form of sexual harassment at some stage at the hands of their counterparts, the college men.

Now the video of Riley and the girls singing their anti-rape song, with Riley accidentally name-checking Brian in a throwaway remark at the end, is online and clocking up the views. The frat boys are not happy…

Cary Elwes stars as a misogynistic professor who is clearly on the lads’ side as far as the whole male-female debate is concerned. Riley has glimpsed a secret ritual involving cloaked, masked and hooded frat boys that seems to revolve around the bust of Calvin Hawthorne, the founder of the college, which has been removed from public display after the sorority women protested at the glorification of a racist slave-owner. Those women sure aren’t standing for any nonsense, are they…? And what are the lads up to, as if we couldn’t guess…?

The slasher stuff is fairly standard, although the bow and arrow is probably a little different, if a bit clunky and awkward to put into practice. It increases the feeling that the women are being hunted down and stalked, as if they’re really just prey, like a deer or a moose, which of course they are in this film.

Bow and arrow notwithstanding, it’s good to see the women, who are being relentlessly stalked by the killer(s), standing up for themselves and fighting back instead of lying down and dying under male domination and violence. It makes a bit of a change.

Is this the shape of films to come, I wonder? Will women refuse to look pretty and be battered/raped/maimed/tortured/killed in the movies any more? Who will be the new victims in the movies of the future? Men won’t want to be, so I suppose we’ll have to invent a new third sex to take the flack. It’s all very complicated. Enjoy the film, though. Slay belles ring, are you listening…?

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/1781994234
  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s