With horror films coming back into fashion over the last few years, the more than 40-year-old Canadian horror film Black Christmas is getting a Hollywood remake. The story will not change. A masked killer will attack university students and try to pick them off one by one around the Christmas season. Strange as it sounds to us, this was an original premise back in 1974. A horror film at the time was not likely to have a plot of this kind. One could argue that the original Black Christmas was the first slasher film. There is no exact answer to what the first slasher movie was, but Black Christmas did predate Friday the 13th and Halloween by many years and the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre by a little less than a year.
The producers plan to release the film on a Friday the 13th, December 13 of this year. While there was never a sequel to the first Black Christmas, there was an earlier remake, released in 2006 and directed by Glen Morgan. While the 2006 version did manage to double its budget, it was not nearly as successful as its 1974 predecessor. Critics gave the 2006 version very negative reviews, which makes another remake a risky proposition.
While Black Christmas did not spawn the numerous sequels of the Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween films, the Black Chrismas name is still taken seriously by Hollywood. The film will star Cary Elwes, as well as Lily Donoghue, Aleyse Shannon, Brittany O’Grady, and Aleyse Shannon. Sophia Takal has been confirmed as the director of the film. The film will be shot on a tight schedule, as it is being released in December even though shooting has not yet begun. Perhaps, one could expect the film to end up being delayed before release, as is often the case when a movie is announced so shortly before its claimed release date.
Neither the original film nor the 2006 remake reveals the identity of the killer to the audience; it will be interesting to see whether or not this changes with the new version. As the film has not yet started shooting, the trailer is brief and involves an eerie atmosphere and a bloody candy cane. The cast of the 2019 version is much more famous than the cast of the 1974 version. The people who starred in the 1974 version were at the time unknown, though the film did propel some of them to stardom.
Perhaps the success of the Netflix horror series Stranger Things has caused a renewed interest in the horror genre because theatrically released horror films seemed to be on the wane in the early 2010s. The continued success of the walking dead series more than a decade after the first season may also have led directors to give horror films made for theatres another chance. Since horror films have been successful with audiences since the silent era, and are often used to kickstart the careers of new actors and directors, one would not expect the genre ever truly to die. Although the horror film may seem to be dead for a few years, it will always return to popularity again for as long as movies are with us.