The first trailer for Blumhouse's Black Christmas has arrived. Released in 1974 and directed by (of all people) A Christmas Story's Bob Clark, the original Black Christmas revolved around a sorority whose members are stalked and murdered by a killer during the Christmas season, and is now regarded as one of the pioneering slasher films (one that influenced later hits like Halloween). It was remade by Final Destination cowriter Glen Morgan in 2006, but the project went through several rewrites and reshoots (at the behest of Dimension heads Bob and Harvey Weinstein), and was ultimately dismissed as a gory, yet bland rehash by many critics and horror buffs alike.
Blumhouse only (and unexpectedly) revealed it's remaking Black Christmas again in June, with Sophia Takal (Into the Dark episode "New Year, New You") directing from a script she cowrote with screenwriter and film critic April Wolfe. The new remake's synopsis teases a subversive twist on the original movie's plot, revealing that a stalker begins killing sorority girls at Hawthorne College only to discover that "this generation's young women aren't willing to become hapless victims". Now, just over a month after production wrapped up, there's even some footage to check out.
Universal released the Black Christmas trailer online this morning, no doubt ahead of its premiere in theaters with IT Chapter Two (beginning with tonight's Thursday preview screenings). You can check it out in the space below.
Both the trailer and updated synopsis reveal some additional details about the characters in Blumhouse's Black Christmas, including protagonist Riley Stone (Imogen Poots) and her Mu Kappa Epsilon sisters - namely, the "athlete" Marty (Lily Donoghue), "rebel" Kris (Aleyse Shannon), and "foodie" Jesse (Brittany O’Grady). The trailer further includes a reference to the modus operandi of the original Black Christmas' villain, who dubbed himself Billy and would call up his victims before attacking. In the modern-era, though, the best the slasher can manage is ringing up Riley on her iPhone without a Caller ID (for however long that trick works). And much like the synopsis, this footage places an emphasis on its leads fighting back against their would-be killers, culminating with a shot of them armed to the teeth and ready for their final battle.
All in all, the new Black Christmas looks promising so far, and seems like a chip off the same block as recent horror movie hits like Ready or Not, as far as its attempts to subvert the genre's tropes are concerned. In this case, the film appears to be interested in critiquing the gender-based hierarchy and rituals of its university setting, as embodied by supporting characters like Marty’s "beta-male" boyfriend, Nate (Simon Mead), Professor Gelson (Cary Elwes), and the members of a fraternity that may or may not be behind all this deadly mayhem to begin with. Indeed, the film's trailer might even be a bit spoilery, considering it makes Gelson and the other men here look like they're guilty of doing, well, something bad. Hopefully, Black Christmas will have a few more surprises up its sleeves that aren't teased here.
Source: Universal Pictures