Tile Card - Black Christmas (2019)

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Black Christmas works on multiple levels. It operates as a fairly feminist film, and its incel-like villains produce a decent amount of jump scares.

Directed By Sophia Takal
Written By Sophia Takal, April Wolfe
Date Released (Theatrical) 12/12/2019
Genre(s) Horror, Thriller, Holiday
Made For Those Who Like Horror Films Which Pursue Being More Than About A Bunch Of Dead Bodies & The Villain Being Defeated In The End
Noted Cast
Riley Imogen Poots
Kris Aleyse Shannon
Professor Gelson Cary Elwes
Marty Lily Donoghue
Nate               Simon Mead
Jesse               Brittany O’Grady
Brian Ryan McIntyre
Landon Caleb Eberhardt
Helena Madeleine Adams

Plot Summary/ Review

It’s winter at Hawthorne University and with the semester coming to a close, many are returning home. However, one after another, sorority girls go missing and only Riley seems to raise any red flags. That is until she encounters hooded men who follow her and her sorority sisters. Leading to Riley finding herself forced to deal with the patriarchal presence on campus that has no love for Riley’s rape accusations or Kris trying to get Professor Gelson fired.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Where were the bodies of the girls hidden? The ones who weren’t part of Riley’s sorority?


How It Operates As A Horror Movie

While by no means scary, Black Christmas does acknowledge the fear of women and uses it in a way most films don’t. It plays on the fear of being assaulted, dealing with the PTSD of that, and also the triggers. It taps into the need to be aware of your surroundings if you are walking home alone at night, and the fact any guy you know, whether he seems to have good intentions or not, he can flip the script on you.

Also, it taps into the need to acknowledge that as much as #MeToo has gone viral and is continuing to push itself through the culture, there will be pushback. And it won’t always be some kid or young adult who is trying to impede progress, adults will too. Never mind just because someone is a woman who could benefit from a safer and more equal society, it doesn’t mean they won’t betray their gender for acceptance or love, even if it requires them to be subservient.

How It Operates As A Feminist Film

In many ways, the whole horror and violence is a trojan horse for you to understand the plight of women. It’s made to show you how they are silenced, either in relationships or by people in positions of power. Also, there is an effort to show, be it rape accusations or worry, women aren’t listened to until it is too late. And it seems the overall goal of Black Christmas, which I picked up from Kris, Marty, and Nate, is that the full reconciliation between men and women will be difficult. It will mean being challenged, dealing with physical threats, but there has to be a consistent willingness to come back to the table and talk, as well as male allies to not just screech “Not all men!” but prove they truly are to be excluded from generalizations.

Otherwise, those who are silent, those who wish to maintain their benefits, they will be mindless members of a zealot army.

On The Fence

Your Connection To The Characters May Not Be That Strong

With being a fan of Imogen Poots and Brittany O’Grady, I felt connected to them, feared for them, and was invested in them. However, when it comes to the rest? While they delivered the messages they were supposed to, whether they lived or died was of no importance. They were just another dead body of someone you barely got to know or someone who said and did some weird things. If not, in the case of O’Grady’s character Jesse, brought in a little comedy into the film.


Met Expectations

This exceeded my expectations, but I do recognize the bait and switch everyone may not appreciate. What we’re sold is your run of the mill, counter program, horror movie during the holidays. However, what Black Christmas delivers is something deeper than what most horror movies pursue. Thus reminding you the horror genre doesn’t have to be some crazed person or a monster chasing people until they are defeated, there is so much more that can be done than that.

Would Watch Again?

While I like the film, it is a one and done film. Some may want to rewatch for the sake of delving deeper into the themes, but if you are just looking for entertainment value? This is only worth one viewing.

Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Black Christmas is somewhere between a forgettable horror movie and one that has a message that tries to give a usually underestimated genre some oomph. But, while the film tries to balance, to the best of its abilities, a sense of horror with its messaging, it isn’t perfect.

Yet, the attempt is applaudable and for some will be entertaining. For others, however? They may be left with feelings of false advertisement and find themselves wishing they didn’t spend their money or time on this film.

Images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we may earn a commission or products from the company.


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Black Christmas Ending Explained, Recapped and Spoiled

A few years ago, Riley was raped in the frat house and since then has, in Kris’ mind, shrunk. However, during senior year, a boy named Landon talks to her, things are going well, and while Kris is stirring the pot, getting statues taken down and trying to get people fired (Professor Gelson), things seem fine. But then members of the two sororities on campus go missing, and later are found killed.

However, before that reveal, Kris pushes Riley to take back her power from the visiting Brian, her rapist, during an annual frat party where the sorority girls sing. This time though, they sing an anti-rape song which causes jeers, boos, and moderate applause. Leading to, the following day, Riley and her sorority sisters, Kris and Marty, receiving threatening texts, and by the end of the film Marty is killed, her boyfriend Nate, Jesse as well, and Landon? He is almost turned into a zombie.

How? Well, the film has a bit of a supernatural element to it. To make a long story short, Calvin Hawthorne, who found the college, dabbled in the dark arts, and as she saw women on the rise, he came up with spells and other means so that those who followed, specifically in the frat he founded, could build an army. One that would be possessed by his spirit and do his bidding, as we see whenever any of the guys assault and kill one of the women.

But, thanks to Riley, with great help from Kris and the girls of the other sorority, they not only destroy the bleeding bust of Calvin Hawthorne, which is used to cast the spell but burn down the frat. With no help from Helena, by the way, he decides to be dick before her chicks.

Is A Sequel Possible?

Technically yes. While the source of the frat’s power is destroyed, and many members burnt up, who is to say the alumni may not hear about what happened and continue what Calvin wanted? Maybe even seek revenge on Riley considering she killed at least 2 members of the frat, burnt down their frat house, and nearly destroyed their legacy.

Images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we may earn a commission or products from the company.

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How It Operates As A Horror Movie - 84%
How It Operates As A Feminist Film - 85%
Your Connection To The Characters May Not Be That Strong - 75%
Met Expectations - 86%
Would Watch Again? - 70%


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