Movie Review: Black Christmas (2006)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2006 horror movie remake starring Katie Cassidy and Lacey Chabert.

Synopsis: When crazed killer Billy Lenz escapes the mental institution on Christmas Eve, he makes a path straight for his childhood home. Unfortunately for the sorority sisters of Delta Alpha Kappa, his former house is now their sorority house. With police assistance at least two hours away because of the heavily-falling snow, they are forced to find a way to survive on their own.


I've seen the original 1974 version of this movie on a few separate occasions and, while I wouldn't describe it as one of my favorites, I've always thought it was really good. As a result of this, I've always been a little hesitant to even bother watching the remake.

However, it happened to be on one of our movie channels a couple nights ago and, figuring it would be a good way to kill some time with my wife, I ended up recording it. We ultimately ended up watching this movie last night and, while it did turn out to be slightly better than I was expecting, it did prove to be a bit of a letdown, at least when compared to the original.

There were a couple things I found I liked about this movie. The main one was Mann's pretty convincing performance as the lunatic Billy Lenz. He had just the right amount of creepiness to keep his scenes interesting, especially since, at first glance at least, he really didn't look overly dangerous.

I think my biggest problem with the movie is it allows itself to get bogged down with too many details. One of the things I really like about the original is the movie tells the viewer very little about the killer, keeping him shrouded in mystery and allowing the movie to progress at a fairly fast pace.

This film, in comparison, spends an extraordinary amount of time talking about (and showing via flashbacks) Billy Lenz's past, his family and why he became a killer. While there were, admittedly, some scenes that were pretty cool, including the one with the "Christmas cookies," the fact the writers choose to give too much information about the main bad guy lessened the overall impact. On top of it, the reveals also made the ending kind of predictable. And, especially in this genre, that's not a good thing.

I also thought the ending of this movie was dragged out a little too much. Well, actually, that, in itself, wasn't that big of a deal. But, again, the movie was starting to get very predictable by the end and, as a result, the "surprise" twist really didn't have an impact. The filmmakers would have been better off ending the movie at the sorority house, even if it was an open-ended finale that kept the door open for a sequel.

Final Opinion

As I said before, the movie was better than I was expecting. But, the constant flashbacks do prevent this film from reaching the same level of excitement as the original. If you haven't seen either version of this movie, I would recommend the 1974 version over this one.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 01/26/2017, StevenHelmer
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