“Try the cookies… They’re delicious…”
Remakes are huge at the moment, especially in the horror genre. There are successes and there are failures but where does stand; is it in the vein of Alexandra Aja’s The Hills Have Eyes and Zach Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead or does it follow more in the footsteps of Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Neil LaBute’s The Wicker Man…?
The film concerns an escaped maniac (Billy) who decides to return home to his childhood home, which now just so happens to be a sorority home, on Christmas Eve.
The original (directed by Bob Clark) was an effective horror film which used as little blood as possible. Whereas it boasted substance, the remake sacrifices this in favour of gratuitous gore and nudity. Not only this, the script lacks in depth and wit and the directing and editing are rash which completely throw the tone off balance.
On occasion remakes get it right (see the aforementioned examples), but this is definitely not one of those cases. This is not to say it could not well have been a success. An updated version of the original would have been great. Offering a great backdrop on which to either exploit the innocence of Christmas all over again or to explore anti-religious ideas, the original is ultimately let down. is a drab and meagre affair that is more unintentionally funny than scary.
The scares the film tries to give its audience are ineffective and unremarkable and even the gratuitous violence is strangely laughable which only adds to the air of laziness surrounding the effects team – not a single death scene stands out. If viewed as a B-Movie, this is a masterpiece of bad dialogue and awful effects but unfortunately the film appears to take itself seriously with no hint of satire or social commentary. If the film was a little less straight faced it could have been an effective slasher-fest.
The cast are the run-of-the-mill kind that you find in most horror movies, not a single one remarkable in any way – the acting makes you wish someone like Jamie Lee Curtis would give them all lessons on just how to do it. Overall is unremarkable on every way.
Best bad pieces of dialogue:
“I’d like to bury the hatchet with my sister. Right in her head!”
“F*** you Santa Claus!”
Watch this if you liked: Silent Night, Deadly Night
The scene in which Billy puts on a Santa Claus suit upon leaving the mental institute is a reference to the character Billy Chapman in the movie Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984).