Hard-edged horror is tricky to find these days. All we have are PG-13, CW-network-backed quasi-shockers. What happened to our Saturday-night stab shows? Stuffed with antagonistic anti-holiday gore and violence for the sadist in every family, “Black Christmas” is a strange holiday treat.
Remade from Bob Clark’s 1974 slasher classic of the same title, the basic premise remains intact. It’s Christmas Eve at a sorority house and, right after the girls begin swapping scary stories about a Christmas-despising serial killer/former house resident, they and their bitch-goddess behavior start getting slayed in grisly yuletide fashion. Of course, no one’s going to help them.
And that’s it.
If you want more, go watch “Slither” or some other ironic, post-“Scream” horror flick. “Black Christmas” is just well-sold crap, plain and simple, not dissimilar to snakes invading planes or rings flickering on the television. Yet odd as it sounds, there’s just something comforting and refreshing about seeing old-school violence made possible without the glam of CGI.
Michelle Trachtenberg gets an ice skate in the back in the head. Mary Elizabeth Winstead explodes inside a car. A security guard is stabbed with a candy cane. And the inevitable coup de grace is an impaling courtesy of a Christmas tree.
Now, if that’s not your brand of eggnog, then you just don’t like horror. Fine. Directed with cheese-ball gusto by Glen Morgan (2003’s “Willard” remake), “Christmas” plays on every bad technique and clich