Home Video

Black Christmas (2019) - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Film Details

  • Art

Black CHristmas (2019)

The latest iteration of Bob Clark’s ultra-gory yule tide slasher, Black Christmas, promises a modern take on the cult horror classic that stoked the fears of every sorority girl back in 1974.

"There’s nothing clever about Black Christmas, and with an anemic PG-13 rating, even the horror parts do nothing to make anyone’s dreams of a black Christmas come true."


Following 2006’s abysmal reboot, the mantle has been picked up by filmmaker Sophia Takal whose 2019 remake takes on the college rape culture by injecting the story with a choking dose of feminism while abandoning nearly every thing that endeared the original Canadian slasher to so many horror fans. Gone are the gore, the creepy phone calls, and the demented killer in the attic, replaced with cell phone DMs, a teen-friendly PG-13 rating, and an uninspired supernatural element that is neither believable nor scary.

The film initially shows promise with an effectively creepy opening sequence that features a Mu Kappa Epsilon sorority member seemingly outwitting a hooded stalker as the co-ed leaves her college campus for the Christmas holidays. That sense of dread and suspense carries throughout most of the film’s opening act with clever little devices that effectively ratchet up the creep factor. Fleeting peeks at hidden shadows, corpse snow angels, and brief glimpses of crimson blood on snow keep us on our toes. {googleads}

As the sorority sisters of Hawthorne College begin to fall victim to a hooded murderer armed with a bow and arrow, the film’s heroine eventually becomes realized in the form of Riley (Imogen Poots), a resilient rape survivor still struggling with the trauma of her past. Riley and her closest friend and student activist Kris (Aleyse Shannon) are soon on the front lines in the battle against what we soon find out is an army of masked killers bent on murdering all the school’s female students. With the campus police not showing much interest in the sinister goings-on, it’s up to Riley and Kris to show the killer that this generation’s young women aren’t about to be anybody’s victim.

Then comes the film’s latter third which is so poorly planned and shoddily executed it’s hard to imagine how it made it beyond the storyboard stage. Yes, the film’s message about sexual politics is a crucial one in today’s post #metoo world, and its themes of sisterhood, female empowerment, and the idea of working together to find their relevance are due to be addressed properly in a horror film.Black CHristmas (2019)

However, the script by Takal and April Wolfe lacks any amount of poignant satirical bite and nearly everything it has to say is shamefully too on the nose to hit its mark. And from Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions – the producers of the Insidious, Paranormal Activity and Get Out juggernauts – it’s surprising this thing ever got off the ground in the first place. There’s nothing clever about Black Christmas, and with an anemic PG-13 rating, even the horror parts do nothing to make anyone’s dreams of a black Christmas come true.

An A for effort goes to the filmmakers for their attempt at bringing a tried-and-true classic into a new era by taking on our current climate of toxic masculinity. But that small success is more than overpowered by the film’s failure to couch those themes within a compelling story. Black Christmas is like a turd in the eggnog. Be sure to keep your receipt. You’ll need it to return this dud.

2/5 stars

Black CHristmas (2019)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Universal
Available on Blu-ray
- March 17, 2020
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1; French (Canada): DTS 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Universal brings Black Christmas to blu-ray with a compelling Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD edition that comes packaged in a cardboard-sleeved eco-case that houses a nice slate of bonus material. There’s plenty here to jingle the bells of the film’s fans including a filmmaker commentary, a handful of deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and several featurettes.

Video

There’s an annoying graininess to the transfer which appears to be added in post production, most certainly meant to give the film a classic horror look and feel. But it doesn’t work. And with an annoying yellow cast to all the indoor scenes, this 1080p 2.39:1 anamorphic transfer is a big no from me, dawg.

Audio

Here’s where you’ll get your money back. The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is a thing of beauty with a great use of the entire audio spectrum. There’s a lot of shuffling and creeping around in silence from the characters, in addition to all the scary things that jump out from the corners of the screen. Footsteps can be appropriately traced from front left, through the rear channels and around to front right. Really cool if you have the proper setup. Arrows fired in close quarters flick across the screen with a deafening twang. Experienced no issues with the dialogue that is always crisp and clear despite being directionally active as characters are constantly moving about the frame.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length audio commentary with director Sophia Takal and star Imogen Poots

Special Features:

Universal spared no blank space on the disc, filling it with an abundance of bonus material that will certainly get the attention of the film’s fans. Director/co-writer Sophia Takal and actor Imogen Poots sit for an entertaining discussion of the film.Alternate Ending

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • You Messed with the Wrong Sisters
  • The (Re)Making of a Cult Classic
  • Welcome to Mu Kappa Epsilon

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

{googleads}

Black Christmas (2019)

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, terror, thematic content involving sexual assault, language, sexual material and drinking.
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Sophia Takal
Writer:
Sophia Takal, April Wolfe
Cast:
Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue
Genre
: Horror | Thriller
Tagline:
Slay, girls.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You messed with the wrong sisters."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site: https://www.uphe.com/movies/black-christmas
Release Date:
December 13, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 17, 2020.
Synopsis: From the producer of Get Out and Halloween, comes a timely take on a cult horror classic as a campus killer comes to face a formidable group of friends in sisterhood. Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays. But as Riley Stone and her Mu Kappa Epsilon sisters prepare to deck the halls with a series of seasonal parties, a black-masked stalker begins killing sorority women one by one. As the body count rises, the sisters start to question whether they can trust any man. Whoever the killer is, he's about to discover that this generation's young women aren’t about to be anybody's victims.

{googleads}

Black Christmas (2019)

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video Black Christmas (2019) - Blu-ray Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes