13+ Black Christmas Reviews – Star Imogen Poots Thinks Important for Men To See

Black Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I barely recommended it but definitely not for any of the blatant feminist agenda that it bludgeons the viewer with, but the story which tries to be something different.

The lead star is, of course, not wanting to alienate the other 50% of the population that is male that the movie clearly insults for the better part of the 96 minutes of runtime:

“I think it’s important for for men to see the story. I mean, why not? What’s wrong with watching female performances? That’s what it comes down to, ultimately,” says Poots. “It’s for an audience who will appreciate the film and the message.”

Black Christmas Star Imogen Poots on Why Men Should See Remake – Variety

What Poots should have said was, “we are a bunch of pissed off women kicking ass on a bunch of rotten men. We turn the tables on the horror tropes.” That would have been great promotion. Honest promotion, too, instead of the nonsense about “an audience who will appreciate the film and the message.”

As a man, I hated the message. It doesn’t portray any men in a positive light. Clearly the message is warped in that regard on reality. It’s fine to make a movie like that, but sell it as such, don’t try to minimize or discount it. I don’t know a single man who will appreciate a movie that gleefully disembowels all men.

What follows is a more thorough film critique including discussion of the ending. If you don’t like SPOILERS then come back once you’ve seen the film. Or if you have no desire in seeing the film based on the reviews, then go ahead and proceed.

… you’ve been warned SPOILERS ahead …

Ok, let’s get into it.

Lack of romantic chemistry

Landon’s character is a mess. No character arc, he just comes off as some whimpy, weak guy who is interested in the main character, Riley.

Worse for Landon is Riley having zero chemistry. It’s like she’s reluctantly agreeing to pick up a stray dog when she offers him to tag along with the group.

Landon is portrayed far too weak, like he barely is interested in her, or ridiculously shy with his emotions and can’t do anything about them. If somewhere by the end he would have stood up for himself and/or the women, at least the viewer would be more interested in his character.

Too Many Bad Male Characters

Landon, mind you, is the only good male character portrayed in the movie. Every other male character is obnoxious, stupid, incompetent (the security guard), a technophile, would-be rapist, or worse.

The Ending is Rushed — and reminscent of Skulls

Secret societies on college campuses may not be original, but do have a good opportunity for a horrific presence. This idea is hinted at once and then goes all out in the ending, but this movie could have been better to explore this plot in more depth rather than trying to make this some kind of shocking reveal. Maybe it follows one of the frat boys getting turned and how he’s really is a good, likable man (shocking, I know), but turned by the evil?

Here’s a shocking twist that would have made it cool: instead of the evil spirit being the founder of the university, how about his wife’s rage? That would have fit the revenge theme of the movie and yet turned on the head that evil doesn’t only exist in men.

Unfortunately, it all comes off as too rushed and not completely formed. There wasn’t enough setup to justify the wild changing plotline. However, it doesn’t stop it from being an interesting direction and is one of the main reasons why I barely recommended this. Because I saw effort by the film makers to do something creative, rather than just preach and prim like Charlie’s Angels (2019).

I mean, when it went all women going into fighting mode, this was interesting, but so different from the rest of the movie that it didn’t fit right.

Summary

Regardless of the many negative reviews, this movie had potential and wasn’t all terrible (there have been way worse movies released in 2019). It suffers most from using the name of a movie that was drastically different and better. This should have had a different title, maybe going for a Skulls like story but told from the women who were involved with the men. Seeing their men change by the Hawthorne evil presence.

Another important point is that the creative people behind this movie are horror fans. They weren’t just going through the motions to grind some agenda axe, they believe in the genre. It might be missing in the dialogue and the story is broken, but they clearly tried to make a good movie telling an entertaining story.

Sadly, it’s just all weighted down by a jumbled story – perhaps too complex – with not enough emphasis on making a scary movie. Not that horror can’t be more complex, but this one maybe put a few too many ingredients in the stew and some of them weren’t cooked.

Reviews by Others

Let’s see, so far, what other moviegoers think of Black Christmas (2019).

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs. Yes, even those who disagree with my reviews and vice versa.

Recommended

  1. EYG / Embrace Your Geek: “In the end, I walked out of the theater with the mindset that it was better than I expected and so, I will give it the slight recommendation. And if you can go into Black Christmas without seeing the trailer, do it.”
  2. Signal Horizon: ” Overall, Black Christmas is not without some effective scares, and its primary story about surviving sexual assault is especially relevant as the  effects of the #MeToo Movement and Brett Kavanaugh hearings still loom so large in our culture. Furthermore, it does a fine job capturing the current debates occurring on college campuses.”
  3. The Grump of Horror (3.5/5): “This Black Christmas is, I think, the first Blumhouse horror to be released directed by a woman. It’s a terrific, fun film, one that has a strong feminist point of view that will go over very well with the female audience members. I really hope it does with the male ones too.”
  4. Vague Visages: “…despite the earnestness of its admonishment of entitled patriarchy (Takal, rather brilliantly, has claimed that she drew on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings), never takes itself too seriously. Like many genre exercises, the characters function with a level of self-awareness that flirts with metanarrative.”

Not Recommended (or unclear/undecided)

  1. But Why Tho (5/10): “While the film may work for those not well-versed in horror history or just genuinely new audiences, it would have served better severing ties with the existing horror film. Regardless of how much I think this could have been an original story, the empty callbacks to the 1974 film made it a challenge I couldn’t overcome.”
  2. Christine Johnson / Runpee: “I’m being generous, giving it a C- purely for the fact that I loved the sets.”
  3. Cinema Spotlight / Jason (2/5): “Even if you ignore the social commentary the horror elements are as cliché as they get and fail to really offer anything in the way of thrills or excitement. I think I’ll stick with the original film which still remains the superior version by every measure.”
  4. Doug Jamieson (2/5): “…has the absolute best of intentions at heart and it must be commended for seeking to highlight an incredibly serious and relevant societal issue. But, for all its earnest agenda-pushing, it fails to truly leave any impact.”
  5. Grim D. Reaper (0/4): “A deliberate body count is pointless if no one knows who did it or especially why, and if there was any greater plan going forward, why call attention to it with a between-semester culling guaranteed to shut the school and your hunting ground down? Failing on every story level, Black Christmas is one of the worst films of the year… again.”
  6. Halloween Year Round: “…the concept of fraternity pledges being possessed to kill is just absurd and interesting enough to make for a decent slasher film.  It’s a shame because in areas like this, the film has a lot of potential.  But it really gets bogged down in its own morals and messages.”
  7. Movie Babbles: “Sexual assault is a horrific thing that has been exposed as something that is present in and affects many aspects of American life. A great horror film could be made that forces a viewer to reckon with this deeply ugly truth. Black Christmas is not that film.”
  8. Movie Meister Reviews (1.5/5): ” just boring and is another film to put on the list of examples we can give when we scream “Stop remaking early slasher films unless you’re sure you can do something better than the original people did”. Shame, I wanted to like this one.”
  9. Society Reviews: “Not only am I giving this a 0/5 but I’m retroactively giving the 2006 version a 1.5/5 because at least that movie didn’t act like they wanted me dead as they were boring the ever-loving crap out of me.”
  10. What Went Wrong (1/10: “The overall sentiment in Black Christmas is about as fake as the social media app “YipYap”. The ironic line “we’re not inspiring anybody, we’re pissing people off” which is spoken by one of the characters, unfortunately applies to the entire script and the finished film.”

Let’s discuss what you think of Black Christmas in the comments.

NOW PLAYING REVIEWS: Richard Jewell, Black Christmas, Jumanji: The Next Level

Weekend #50 12/13/2019 is all about anti-climaxes.

First, we don’t get to watch either Uncut Gems (opens on Christmas Eve in our area) or Bombshell (opens next week in our area). Secondly, we get two fairly underwhelming sequels, one of which isn’t recommended, and another which is maybe recommended (read on!).

At least there is one star with a bit of a shine, and that film is this week’s #1 new film recommendation …

Richard Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

In case you didn’t know by now (I’ve mentioned this several times, so sorry for beating this legend of Hollywood home), Clint Eastwood is behind the camera and we get a tasty helping (again) of Kathy Bates playing a “momma” character like she did to Adam Sandler in The Waterboy. She is good, but it is silly to suggest she win an Oscar for her performance when it isn’t the first time she’s done this character.

Richard Jewell is our top pick for weekend #50 2019

My guess is the box office money is going to go first to the third film on our list, that isn’t recommended, but story-wise, Richard Jewell is the best of the lot.

Black Christmas (2019) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Am already catching crap for this one. Of course it’s from a man. I get it, this is a man-hater’s movie, so why should any man recommend it? You have to watch the video review and read my text review to understand this recommendation comes with all kinds of ifs and buts, but that’s the danger of a star rating. People want to make it personal when they dislike something a critic likes and vice versa.

This bears the name of the original, but it’s all about hating on men — literally and figuratively

Plenty of criticisms for this movie, including the terrible script and characterization, but saw seeds of ideas that had potential and were likable enough to say, consider it. It should never have been given the title it has, but is a better feminist movie than Charlie’s Angels (2019) ⭐️½. .

Jumanji: The Next Level ⭐️½ (ScreenX)

Caught this on Thursday night 12/12 in ScreenX format. Didn’t add much

ScreenX is not the best way to view this movie. Our guess is that this film will win the most box office sales crown this weekend, perhaps based on the strength of the first two movies, but neither Kara or I enjoyed this film. It just felt too sequel fatigued. Stick a fork in this franchise is what we think. If you liked this one, that’s awesome. I’m happy any time somebody loves a movie because they will encourage their friends and others to go see the movie. That’s good for theaters and there are always other movies at the multiplexes.

Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?

Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theater recently (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that it was necessarily that good.

4-star movies are highly recommended and films we rate as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see. NOTE: of all 2019 movies seen in theaters (over 55 movies since August 12, 2019), there have been no 4.5 or 5 star movies rated. Zero. Just hasn’t been anything either of us felt was that amazing. Am hoping there will be at least one before the end of the year .. but time is running out.

  1. Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ScreenX
  2. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. The Good Liar ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  5. Richard Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  6. Dark Waters ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  7. Last Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  8. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  9. Hold On ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  10. Black Christmas (2019) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Don’t forget the butter on that popcorn! Have a great time at the movies.

FIRST LOOK: Black Christmas (2019)

Can a horror movie be scary that is rated PG-13?

It’s a question I haven’t ever pondered until now. I find some of the most frightening horror not to be a bunch of blood and gore, but the quiet horror, the stuff off scene and understated. So, yes, those components will not require a R-rated.

We’ll find out this weekend when the second reboot/retelling of the original 1974 classic Black Christmas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ opens in theaters.

Syfy caught up with director Sophia Takal on what she is trying to do with this film:

“I really wanted to make a movie where the violence towards women didn’t feel exploitative or gratuitous, so from the start it was really important to me, like the original Black Christmas, to make a movie where the kills were more artful and more happened off-screen than on,” explained Takal of the film’s PG-13 rating.

Why is Black Christmas rated PG-13 instead of R?

Kudos to Sophia Takal for being the first woman to direct a horror film for Blumhouse. It seems odd to be saying this in 2019. Hopefully, someday about half of all films will be directed by women and half by men, as that is about the distribution of human life on this earth. Now, whether or not enough women will get into the profession — or want to get into the profession — is a whole other subject, but hey, it’s nice to see the ice getting broken at one studio.

Black Christmas (2019) opens in theaters Friday the 13th, December.

Opening 12-12-2019 in Theaters: Uncut Gems, Bombshell, Jumanji The Next Level, Richard Jewell, Black Christmas

3 of 5 movies released “wide” shown above plus The Polar Express on a one day bonus showing

Wednesday is here and that means … new movies at the theater starting tomorrow!

Yes, more new movies coming to theaters this weekend (Thursday forward). Right now, at least in our area – and via Google search — only three of the five being released “wide” are actually showing as coming soon with presale tickets available.

Or Box Office Mojo is jacked up and these two movies are really “limited” release (which I think is what’s happening) for Uncut Gems and Bombshell, two movies I was most eagerly looking to see out of the five. Check this out (follow the yellow highlight in the screenshot):

Box Office Mojo info by IMDB pro shows Bombshell and Uncut Gems are “wide”, but they are not

If someone like me who actually follows movies and researches when they come out is confused, how is an average or “once in awhile” moviegoer going to sort this out. Come on, IMDBPro, you guys are being IMDB amateurs. Why would anybody pay for this information when you can’t get something basic right on the homepage of your website?

Stay with me. Because there is conflicting info on other major movie info sites.

I know, I know, it’s minor issue. They have tons of great data on the inside … for $20/month or whatever. It’s just annoying that I can’t figure out how and where these limited movies are playing so I can pay to go and see them. Customers should never have to jump through hoops like this. It’s no wonder fewer people are going to movie theaters these days. Some must just throw their hands up and wait for it to show up on streaming.

Rotten Tomatoes has a movie info section which shows Uncut Gems as opening on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019, 13 days from the “wide” date listed by Box Office Mojo by IMDBPro:

Uncut Gems is not opening in our area until December 24 … 11 days after “wide” opening. Sigh

Same source, RT, showing Bombshell as “opening” on December 19, 2019:

See, now you can join me in confusion.

Am sure your zip code is different than what’s shown above, so maybe, just maybe you’ll find Bombshell or Uncut Gems showing somewhere near you. Since they aren’t showing in our area — at least as of this writing — we won’t be seeing them this coming weekend. Unfortunately, there won’t be a review and rating for either of these two movies until on/after the dates mentioned above.

So, let’s get the two movies we (probably) can’t see this weekend out of the way first:

Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems featuring Adam Sandler in a dramatic role is not available for me until December 24

My interest for this movie is pretty high. I’m bummed that I have to wait until Christmas Eve to see this and probably need to skip past numerous spoiler-laden reviews that will be coming between December 13 and December 24. Give me a big brick of cheese to go with my wine.

Anticipation: 9/10

Bombshell

Charlize Theron looks so much like Megyn Kelly to me that almost for that reason alone I’m interested in seeing this film. I’m not sure how critics will receive the movie based on the underlying politics, but am hoping reviewers will rate the movie first and politics second. I certainly will, at least as much as I can from the source material. Just because I may not like what the FOX Network does or doesn’t do should not matter about whether or not the story this movie is telling is entertaining. I’ll have to wait until next week — December 19, or so I’m seeing at the moment — to be able to watch, review and rate this one. If you have it in your area, yes, I’m envious!

Anticipation: 8 / 10

Jumanji: The Next Level

Good to see the cast is back. Jack Black is almost always fun. I have preferred The Rock in more action roles than comedic ones typically but this blended comedy-action movie seems to fit his acting style.

Anticipation: 5 / 10

Richard Jewell

Richard Jewell official trailer

Directed by Clint Eastwood. A dramatic retelling of the 1996 Centenniel Park Olympic bombing hero turned suspect Richard Jewell. I have tried to steer away from learning much about this film because I saw a headline that spoiled an important part of the movie for me. I’d warn others who don’t want key plot points ruined to avoid seeking much coverage on this one. The trailers asks a pretty key question and a simple Google news review of stories about this movie spoils that. Sigh.

Anticipation: 7 / 10.

Black Christmas

Black Christmas official trailer

Reboot of the classic horror movie Black Christmas. Generally not a fan of horror reboots to date, but do enjoy Christmas themed horror movies, so a little mixed on what this one will bring. Trailer is just … OK.

Anticipation: 4 / 10

ANTICIPATION for Week of 12/12/19 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 12-12-2019 movies? Those marked with asterisk are not available in our area this week, so will carryover in future weeks until available to watch in our area.

  1. *Uncut Gems – 9/10
  2. *Bombshell – 8/10
  3. Richard Jewell  – 7/10
  4. Jumanji: The Next Level – 5/10
  5. Black Christmas – 4/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

As noted at the start of this post, Uncut Gems is not available until 12/24 and Bombshell 12/19, the other three are confirmed wide screenings available in our area and the plan is to watch, review and rate all.