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Film / Black Christmas (2006)

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"Let the slay ride begin."

The first remake of the 1974 slasher film Black Christmas, released in 2006.

Much like in the original, a group of sorority sisters are celebrating Christmas. But the killer who crashes the party has more than a passing familiarity with their house: he used to live there, and he's going to relive the deaths of his parents.

Another remake was released on December 13, 2019.

The remake provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Billy's mother and stepfather kept Billy locked away and beaten for years, all because the poor kid had jaundice and is related to his dead father.
  • Anyone Can Die: A lot of the sorority girls get an equal amount of screen time and development, leaving the audience to try and guess who will be the final girl. When the killing ensues, the girls are all picked off at random. In the end, every sorority girl is dead except for Kelli.
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  • Arc Words: "...My family now." These words persist in the heads of the Lenz children.
  • Asshole Victim: It's hard to feel sorry for Mrs. Lenz and her lover since their abuse created a monster like Billy in the first place.
    • Almost every single sorority girl plays this completely straight as well, with most of them ranging from "kinda bitchy" to "utterly unlikeable bitch."
  • Bad Santa: Billy briefly wears a Santa outfit to escape the asylum.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Lauren's outfit, which is basically her pajamas.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Billy attacks Leigh through a wall.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Billy Lenz and his sister Agnes are tag teaming their murders.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Leigh, although she's an older example of the sister than usual, being about fifteen years older than Clair.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Very much so compared to the original.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Kelli, Melissa, and Heather, who also happen to be listed first in this order in the credits. Only Kelli survives.
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  • Body Bag Trick: The not-so-dead Billy and Agnes pull this off in the hospital by the end.
  • Child by Rape: Agnes, conceived by her mother raping her brother Billy.
  • Creepy Doll: Agnes gets one as a Christmas gift in her childhood, and it shows up throughout the film.
  • Crosscast Role: Adult Agnes was played by a man. And it shows.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The candy cane shiv, for starters.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Megan is lured into the attic by footsteps and a snow globe tune, while Dana is lured under the crawlspace by rustling noises.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Billy kills both Heather and Eve in their cars.
  • Death by Irony: "You're my cookie, and I could gobble you up!"
  • Death by Sex: The Santa is killed just as he's about to be get it on with a nurse.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Billy's mother and her boyfriend murdering Billy's father.
    • Also, the abuse she inflicts on Billy, just because he's jaundiced.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The whole reason Billy was locked up in the loony bin in the first place. And boy, did he bite hard.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Billy and Agnes are never seen wearing shoes, despite the movie taking place at Christmas night.
  • Drop the Hammer: Billy's biological father is beat to death with one.
  • Ephebophile: Mrs. Lenz does seem to enjoy the idea of raping her son, which would make her a hebephile since he was 12 at the time.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mrs. Lenz and her lover do seem to care about Agnes.
  • Evil Matriarch: Billy's mother, later devolves into Ax-Crazy.
  • Evil Phone/Harassing Phone Call: Like the original, the sorority sisters get creepy phone calls from the killer.
  • Eye Scream: All over the goddamn place, that at a point Agnes makes a Christmas tree, with eyes as the Christmas bulbs.
  • Expy: Kelli is an expy of the original's Jess. Lauren is an expy of Margot Kidder's Barb (alcoholic and bitchy)
  • Final Girl: Kelli is the final survivor after Leigh is killed off.
  • A God Am I: One of Billy's fellow asylum inmates apparently has messianic delusions:
    Orderly: Happy birthday.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The deaths of the Santa, Heather, and the morgue attendant.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up:
    • Want to see what a head looks like after it gets sliced by an ice skate? This movie's got you covered.
    • You also see one of the victim's eyes forcibly plucked out while their head is covered with a bag.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Lauren drinks the most out of the sorority.
  • Hate Sink: Constance Lenz is Billy's mother, who locks him in the attic after he witnesses her kill his father. She leaves him there for years while living a seemingly-idyllic life with her new lover. After learning that said lover is infertile, she rapes Billy to produce a daughter. These years of abuse lead Billy to snap and murder her, making her indirectly responsible for the film's carnage.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Billy murdered his family on Christmas. Years later, the sorority house becomes a slaughterhouse on Christmas.
  • Hostile Weather: A snowstorm and the accidents it's causing make it so the authorities won't be able to reach them for several hours.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Billy and Agnes. Two words: Skingerbread men.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Ms. Mac's death is by an icicle through her mouth and out the back of her head.
    • How Billy ultimately dies, falling over the hospital railing and onto a Christmas tree with a pointy top.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: The death of the sanitarium guard.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Billy fatally impales his stepfather through the eye with an icicle-shaped ornament and strangles his mother to death with a string of Christmas lights.
  • Improvised Weapon: Christmas ornaments, a rolling pin, a candy cane, an ice skate, a gardening claw, the list goes on...
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies and a few others. Surprisingly effective.
  • Jerkass: Kyle, thanks to cheating on Kelli by having sex with Megan. His response after he's caught? "Fuck all you bitches."
    • Heather is also rather unpleasant, Ms. Mac even comments on it as she's getting the car ready.
      • She does have a few Jerkass Has a Point moments though, as it does make sense to try and leave, as the people the others hoping to rescue are already dead, and it could be considered bit tasteless to leave out gifts for a killer as a holiday tradition.
  • Kick the Dog: Billy's mother crushing the "Baby's First Christmas" bulb, and later telling him that Santa was shot down by the Russians.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: It is immensely satisfying to see Billy getting revenge on his stepfather and mother for all the things they've done to him. The former being impaled through the head with a Christmas tree topping and the latter being strangled and brutally beaten to death by a rolling pin.
  • Kill the Cutie: Melissa, the only main sister besides Kelli who is halfway decent. Leigh is also a decent character, but isn't one of the sisters.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Billy's mother despised his father, and by extension him (the fact that he looked like That Yellow Bastard only added to that hatred). She and her lover wound up murdering Mr. Lenz, and kept Billy locked up in the attic, presumably only giving him the bare minimum to survive.
  • Made of Plasticine: It apparently runs in the family, as both Billy's stepfather and Billy himself are Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, the latter by a christmas tree, no less.
    • Ms. Mac is also impaled, clean through her skull, by an icicle.
  • Magical Defibrillator: Inverted. Kelli kills Agnes with one.
  • Man on Fire: Billy and, less severely, Agnes end up in flames when they don't escape the burning sorority in time.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Subverted to the extreme, a rare feat. While the film has a quite a few male casualties, including Billy’s Dad, Billy’s Stepfather, The Asylum Santa, A Security Guard, A Mortician, and Kyle, the body count in this film is almost entirely made up of the female characters Melissa Kitt, Heather Lee Fitzgerald, Dana Mathis, Lauren Hannon, Clair Crosby, Megan Helms, Eve Agnew, Leigh Colvin, Ms. Mac, Billy’s Mom, and Agnes.
  • Mythology Gag: Several, like most remakes: the victims ending up with bags over their heads, the attic being the most important part of the house for the killers, and Andrea Martin as Mrs. MacHenry, who was Phyl in the original Black Christmas.
  • Neck Snap: Leigh dies by Agnes snapping her neck.
  • Nerd Glasses: Eve wears thick-framed glasses.
  • Not Quite Dead: Billy and Agnes survive the sorority house burning down.
    • Subverted in the UK cut, where Billy is, in fact, horribly burned in the fire, and later dies on the operating table.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Justified, Billy and Agnes frequently use the vents and crawlspaces in the house, and again in the hospital.
  • Off with His Head!: Eve's is found decapitated in her car while Melissa's death is more of a partial example (and by ice skate of all things).
  • Organ Dodge: Kelli stabs Agnes in her glass eye.
  • Parental Incest: Billy's mother rapes him in an insane attempt to impregnate herself. She succeeds.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Agnes favours this look with the left part of her face obscured.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Eve is found decapitated.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: Clair's death, and the first instance of Eye Scream in the film.
  • Pet the Dog: Billy's dad was the only person who was ever nice to him.
  • Rape as Backstory: Obsessed with having another, better child, Mrs. Lenz, after her lover passes out during a bout of drunken sex, goes up to the attic where she keeps her deformed son Billy, and rapes him, successfully giving birth to a daughter nine months later. Suffice it to say, this contributed greatly to Billy's already steady descent into insanity.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Despite the unrealistic nature of Ms. Mac's death with an icicle piercing her eye and popping out of the back of her head, this is actually medically accurate. According to producer James Wong, a likely story is that Ms. Mac played ice hockey in 1962 and was struck in that particular area, had a headache for a few days and recovered without having it checked out allowing the area to soften and become a weak point for the icicle to pierce. It is also worth noting that icicles have been known to kill people just by falling on them.
  • Red Herring: Eve, who is obsessed with Billy Lenz, to the point of taking his old room in the sorority house, is initially implied to be the second killer... until they find her body.
  • Red Right Hand: Billy's skin is yellow thanks to jaundice. Agnes's gold-colored fake eye may also count.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Billy attacking Agnes and ripping one of her eyes out. While it's possible that he saw her a living reminder of his mother raping him, and/or that he might have done it just to stick it to the source of all the misery in his life, it still doesn't change the fact that Agnes was just an innocent little girl who, up until that point, never even knew that Billy existed.
  • Rich Bitch: Heather. In spades.
  • Rolling Pin of Doom: Billy kills his mother with one.
  • Scary Black Man: The asylum guard keeps the inmates in line. If only he affected Billy a lot more.
  • Siblings in Crime: Billy and Agnes are working together to whittle down the sorority.
  • Shout-Out: Billy escapes the asylum he's in by killing a Rent-a-Santa and stealing his costume. A deranged killer named Billy wearing a Santa suit...
  • Shower Scene: Lauren gets one, which shows off her tramp stamp.
  • Snowed-In: Most of the movie takes place at the Delta Alpha Kappa house that's surrounded by snow.
  • The Sociopath: Mrs. Lenz, who kills her first husband, locks her son in the attic because he's deformed and rapes him when she learns her second husband is infertile.
  • Sole Survivor: If going by the theatrical ending, Kelli was the only survivor of the film’s massacre.
  • Sophisticated as Hell:
    Melissa: No. You see, serial killers murder repeatedly for sexual thrill. Billy Lenz was a spree killer - dude just fucking lost it.note 
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Joyous Christmas carols are heard in the background, coming out of a record player, as Billy beats his mother to death with a rolling pin and makes gingerbread cookies out of her flesh.
  • The Stoner: Along with beers, Billy's stepfather has several bongs lying around.
  • Title Drop: An old newspaper found in Eve's room mentions that Billy's first rampage was dubbed "Black Christmas".
  • Trailers Always Lie: They featured a lot of footage that wasn't in the film itself. All of them can be viewed here.
  • Two-Faced: Billy, after he's burned, has significant damage done to half his face.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Billy and Agnes somehow surviving the sorority house fire. Subverted in one of the alternate endings where Billy dies from his burns in the hospital.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: In a "making-of" featurette, one of the filmmakers offhandedly mentions Billy's origin was partly inspired by Edmund Kemper.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Billy's mother, who's (very satisfyingly) reduced to a crying, shreiking wreck as she watches Billy eats Agnes' eye and kill his stepfather.
  • Voice Changeling: Agnes, which she uses to call the sorority with creepy messages.
  • The Voiceless: Possibly due to his imprisoned lifestyle, Billy rarely speaks.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Lauren throwing up in the bathroom during Kelli and Kyle's argument.
  • Waking Up at the Morgue: Billy and Agnes survive their burning and kill the morgue attendant.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: After witnessing his father's murder at the hands of his bitch of a mother's jerkass lover, being locked up in the attic for several years and being raped by his mother in order to conceive a child, it's no wonder why Billy cracked up and became an axe crazy lunatic.
  • You Killed My Father: Not stated directly, but considering the fact that Billy's father was the only person to give a damn about him, his brutal killing of his mother was undoubtedly motivated by this as well as vengeance.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Kyle, with Megan.

Alternative Title(s): Black X Mas


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