Black Christmas (2006 film): Wikis

  
  
  

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Black Christmas

Poster
Directed by Glen Morgan
Produced by James Wong
Odgen Gavanski
Bob Clark
Mark Cuban
Glen Morgan
Todd Wagner
Written by Glen Morgan
Starring Katie Cassidy
Michelle Trachtenberg
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Crystal Lowe
Kristen Cloke
Lacey Chabert
Oliver Hudson
Andrea Martin
Music by Shirley Walker
Cinematography Robert Mclachlan
Editing by Chris Willingham
Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date(s) December 25, 2006 (2006-12-25)
Running time 84 minutes
Country Canada
United States
Budget $9 million
Gross revenue $21,510,851

Black Christmas (abbreviated as Black X-Mas) is a 2006 horror film, and also a remake of the Canadian 1974 film of the same name, only this one has a slightly happier ending. It was directed by Glen Morgan, and stars Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Crystal Lowe, Lacey Chabert, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Andrea Martin. The film score was the last to be composed and conducted by Shirley Walker, who died a month before the film's release.[1]

In December 2006, upon anticipation of its premiere, the film gained some criticism from religious groups due to its graphic content in a holiday setting, as well as the distributor's decision to release the film on Christmas Day in the United States.[2] The film opened in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2006, and, despite backlash from some religious organizations, opened in US theaters on Christmas Day 2006.

Contents

Plot

On Christmas Eve, in a sorority house, a girl named Clair is writing a Christmas card to her half-sister Leigh in her room. After hearing a noise from her closet, she peeks inside but sees nothing but clothes. Moments later, she is attacked and killed when she is stabbed in the eye with a fountain pen by an intruder. Meanwhile, at a mental asylum, psychopath Billy Lenz, who murdered his family years ago, is seen rocking in a rocking chair eating a candy cane. Back at the sorority house, Kelli arrives home, having been out with her boyfriend, Kyle. We are then introduced to the other sorority sisters: Melissa, Heather, Dana, Lauren, Evelyn and Megan.

Back at the mental asylum, Billy places a note on the window of his cell that says : "I'll Be Home For Christmas." The security guard reads this, then looks into a hole in Billy's cell seeing that he isn't in the chair anymore. He enters the cell and sees a hole in the room, kneeling down and looks inside, not noticing that Billy is hiding under the bed. Billy then comes up from behind and stabs the guard with the candy cane he sharpened. Thereat, Megan hears a snow globe tune coming from the attic. She goes into the attic and finds Clair's body by the window in a rocking chair. Suddenly, a figure puts a bag over her head, stabs her repeatedly and ripping out one of her eyes with his bare hand.

Ms. Mac, the housemother, is giving out presents, wanting to know who drew Billy's name. Heather tells how she is uncomfortable about giving Billy a present, as it would be encouraging him. Lauren tells her how Christmas is about warding off evil spirits. The phone in the sorority house rings. The caller is a man rambling on, making no sense. Before hanging up, the caller whispers "I'm going to kill you." As girls checks the caller I.D, they see it says "CLAIR CROSBY CELL". Later, another phone call is made. This time from Megan's cell. While Kelli and heather search Megan's room, the others find Leigh in their living room, wanting to know where Clair is, then the lights go out. Dana says the circuit breaker is under the house and she will go turn it on. She goes outside and smokes, dropping her cigarette into a hole on the porch and hears something beneath it. Taking her flashlight, she opens the door to the crawl space and looks inside. Suddenly, someone grabs her, pulling her in. The two struggle as Dana strikes a gardening tool into the figure's back. The figure then grabs the tool and stabs Dana in the head, killing her.

The mysterious man makes another call from Dana's cell. Kelli, Melissa, Heather and Leigh go outside to look for her and find Evelyn's car still parked outside. When Heather and Leigh open the car door, Evelyn's severed head rolls out. Ms. Mac suggests they pile into her car and drive off but Kelli says that they won't get far and that they need to stick together. Heather says she wants to leave, and Ms. Mac tells the girls that they can stay and she will go with Heather to find help. The two go outside and get in the car. When Ms. Mac gets out of the car to scrape the ice off of the windshield, she sees Billy's eye through the windshield and Heather's blood spray on the inside of the windshield. Startled, Ms. Mac then backs into the wall, unintentionally dislodging an icicle that impales her.

Inside, Kelli and Leigh walk down the hall, where Leigh slips in a pool of blood and screams. Hearing this, Melissa walks out of the room towards the stairway, when a figure wraps a bag over her head, slamming her into a wall. She rips the bag off and runs into her room, grabs a stick and hits the figure with it. Melissa opens a window and is going to climb out when the figure throws an ice-skate at her, cutting off the back of her head. (In the UK version Melissa doesn't escape. Instead, her eyes get gouged out by the figure who then drags her along the floor). Kelli and Leigh rush inside and call for Melissa. With no answer, they go to Lauren's room and closing the door behind them. Kyle then kicks down the door and is attacked by Leigh. Kyle throws her onto Lauren's bed, revealing a dead Lauren, who has her eyes gouged out.

Kelli explains that the killer might be in the attic with Melissa's phone. Kyle opens the attic door and is pulled inside. Kelli and Leigh try to get into the attic but the door is slammed shut. Kyle fights back as a bag is put over his head. Kelli breaks the door open and witnesses Kyle being stabbed with Heather's unicorn statue. There is a struggle between Kelli and the killer and Kelli stabs him in the eye, seeing the figure has a glass eye. It's Agnes. Kelli tells Agnes she doesn't have to do this and tells her that her brother isn't here. Agnes tells her that she doesn't have a brother, only a father. Billy then comes from behind and lights a candle. Agnes attacks Kelli but is knocked into another hole in the floor that pins her between the walls. Billy pushes Kelli into the same hole, accidentally knocking over the candle. Kelli has grabbed onto a string of Christmas light attached to a small tree, trying to keep from falling completely in as Agnes starts to crawl up the hole and Billy goes down it. Leigh comes to her rescue, smashing open the wall. Billy grabs Leigh's head but she manages to fight him off. Leigh runs through the house and smashes out another wall, finally reaching the spot where Kelli is trapped. Leigh grabs Kelli and pulls her to safety as the Christmas tree catches fire and falls into the hole, burning Agnes and Billy.

At the hospital, Leigh goes back to Kelli's room to see if she is back from the x-rays. A body with blonde hair lays in the bed, but as she approaches, the person turns over to reveal Agnes, who grabs her by the throat and snaps her neck. Kelli returns and finds Leigh's new watch under her pillow. Looking up she sees blood on the ceiling above her and tries to leave the room, but the door is stuck; she presses the emergency attention button, but the staff are distracted by carol singers at the front desk. Agnes climbs down from the ceiling. Kelli grabs a defibrillator paddle and shocks Agnes in the head with it, killing her. (In the US version, after Agnes get killed, Billy comes down the ceiling just in time to see Kelli kill Agnes. Kelli runs out of the room by unlocking the door from the outside with a cane. Billy runs after her and slashes Kelli in the back with a sharp tool he grabbed from a tray. Kelli and Billy fight close to a railing Billy is pushed over the railing into the top of a sharp star of the Christmas tree, killing him. Kelli looks on, finally having defeated the murderer).

Characters

  • Kelli Presley: The Final Girl. She is portrayed by Katie Cassidy.
  • Melissa Kitt: The Loyal Wise-cracking Girl. She is portrayed by Michelle Trachtenberg.
  • Heather Fitzgerald: The Religious Southern Rich Girl. She is portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
  • Lauren Hanon: The Drunk Pessimistic Girl. She is portrayed by Crystal Lowe.
  • Leigh Colvin: The Big Sister. She is portrayed by Kristen Cloke.
  • Dana Mathis: The Snobby Rich Girl. She is portrayed by Lacey Chabert.
  • Barbara "Ms. Mac" MacHenry: The Housemother. She is portrayed by Andrea Martin.
  • Evelyn Agnew: The Weirdo. She is portrayed by Kathleen Kole.
  • Megan Helms: The Ex. She is portrayed by Jessica Harmon.
  • Clair Crosby: The Little Sister. Clair is portrayed by Leela Savasta.
  • Kyle Autry: The Boyfriend. He is portrayed by Oliver Hudson.
  • Agnes Lenz: The killer. Kills due to traumatizing past. She is portrayed by Dean Friss
  • Billy Lenz: The 2nd killer, thought to be the killer due to traumatizing past. He is portrayed by Robert Mann.

Box office

The film was released on Monday, December 25 (Christmas Day), 2006 in the United States and grossed $3,723,364 on its opening weekend. The film went on to gross a total of $16,273,581 domestic, earning well over its $9,000,000 budget. As of December 14, 2008, the film has earned $5,109,918 foreign, making a total worldwide gross of $21,383,499. It has been moderately successful outside the US despite being a limited release in some countries.

Reception

The film drew backlash from Christian groups because of the studio's decision to release a bloody slasher film about Christmas on Christmas Day. Several groups, including Liberty Counsel and Operation "Just Say Merry Christmas", have called the film "offensive, ill-founded and insensitive".[3] Additionally, L.A. Weekly columnist Nikki Finke also questioned the filmmakers' decision to release the film on Christmas.[4] Dimension Films defended the timing, saying "There is a long tradition of releasing horror movies during the holiday season as counter-programing to the more regular yuletide fare."[5] Dimension's own Scream, originally released on December 20, 1996, probably being the most successful example. Furthermore, genre critic Egregious Gurnow, of The Horror Review, countered Liberty Counsel's complaint[6] on several counts, foremost of which is the critic's citation that the organization's views upon the feature, are naively idyllic and aesthetically limited, especially from a cultural perspective in that they forbid the notion that such atrocities as murder do not politely take a sabbatical during the holiday season.

On the other hand, critically, the film flopped. Black Christmas earns a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, labelled "rotten" based on 54 reviews. The critics agreed that it was "a gratuitous remake of the 1974 slasher, Black Christmas pumps out the gore and blood with zero creativity, humor, or visual flair". Similarly, on Metacritic, the film was given an average rating of 22, based on 17 reviews.

"Like an ugly tie or a pair of slipper socks, Black Christmas is destined to be forgotten the instant it's unwrapped, gathering dust until the season rolls around again," says reviewer Sam Adams of the Los Angeles Times.[7] Jim Ridley of The Village Voice inputs, "The product itself isn't so much afterthought as afterbirth -- a bloody mess to be dumped discreetly." [8]

Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle, however, says "This film is an evocative, effective entry into the holiday blood-spray subgenre in its own right. And if it doesn't make your skin crawl ... you probably ate too much Christmas dinner." [9] Reviewers also praised the acting of the sorority sisters, in particular Crystal Lowe, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Alternate versions

Several different cuts of the film were released in different countries. The version theatrically released in the United Kingdom and Europe had a different death scene for one of the characters, and an entirely different ending than the version that was released in the United States[10]. There was also footage that was shot solely for advertisement purposes, at the request of Dimension Films. This footage was only included in the theatrical trailer and television ads, and never was intended to be part of the film. This footage included some of the cast members (including Michelle Trachtenberg and Lacey Chabert), but also featured an unknown actress who was never part of the film's initial production.

In the USA two versions were released on home video - both R-Rated and Unrated. The Unrated Version includes more violence[11]. The DVD release of the film also features all of the alternate endings and deleted scenes from the film, but no trace of the advertisement footage was ever seen nor mentioned after the movie finished its theatrical run.

References

External links








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