Glen Morgan’s remake of Bob Clark’s seminal 1974 slasher couldn’t have less to do with its source material if it tried. Other than the structure of the narrative, everything is different: The tone is semi-serious (often bordering on camp), the violence is over-the-top, and the gore is so excessive that it borders on gallows humor. In many ways, “Black Christmas” is like a parody of a remake: It takes the original’s concept and its raison d’etre (which is a heightened sense of suspense and frighteningly purposeless nihilism) and turns them on their heads. Along with a game cast that includes many familiar faces (and a returning Andrea Martin, who co-starred in the original as one of the sorority sisters and plays the house mother here), there’s something downright infectious about Morgan’s vision. You can almost visualize him cackling with glee off the side of the screen as he throws everything he can at the audience, and blowing up the purpose of a remake like a villain blowing up a bridge in an old-timey cartoon. It’s certainly not for everyone but it’s a blast for sick puppies like myself.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)