Black Christmas

Rated R 84 minutes

Nine years before directing the holiday perennial A Christmas Story, Bob Clark made his name with the nifty protoslasher Black Christmas (1974), about a group of sorority girls being menaced by a mysterious killer over the holidays. This remake by Glen Morgan (also responsible for the 2003 Willard) pumps up the action and gore, endlessly mining the incongruity between life-affirming yuletide music and hideous splatter and shatter effects (a sheared face is particularly harsh). It also exchanges the police subplot that gave the earlier film its steady pace for a lot of pointless backstory about the mother-fixated stalker. With a bevy of beauties (Crystal Lowe, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Andrea Martin—who played one of the sisters in the original—as the sorority's housemother.

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