Black Christmas: Original vs. Remake

Having seen the Black Christmas remake several times, I had to review this one. In my experience, many young people have no idea these movies exist, and it has been lost in the slasher cannon. I also realize many longtime horror fans cherish Black Christmas, as it predates most slasher movies and is often credited as one of the first. For those who don’t know, the story is based on actual events and pays homage to the babysitter/man upstairs urban legend. You will hear, “the call is coming from inside the house,” which is pretty cool.

I have some mixed feelings about both movies. Essentially, the plot and characters are the same, and as you assume, it takes place during Christmas break. When you watch both, it’s easy to say, “Okay, that’s supposed to be so-and-so,” without much effort.

The remake is not well received, but that’s unfair. Black Christmas 2006 adjusted the original in a way audiences could appreciate and understand. For that reason alone, I feel it’s a near-perfect remake. It respects and enhances the original. If they kept the movie as is, modern audiences would have still hated it because the expected standard of good film-making has decreased dramatically over the last 40 years.

The Original Black Christmas

Black Christmas 1974

One of my favorite things about Black Christmas 1974 is the camera work. The movie is extremely well shot, and you see throwbacks to greats like Hitchcock. The audience also experiences the killer’s POV, as you walk through the house or hide in a closest as the killer. You may recognize this style in the original Halloween.

The character development is some of the best I’ve ever seen. One of the first differences I noticed was the original only uses a few main girls in the house, whereas the remake uses several – think three verses seven. Using fewer characters adds a more personal feel, and you get to know them in-depth. I did not love any one character, and at times, I felt like I was watching the Real World. Yes, you want the audience to care about the characters, especially when they are in danger, but the personal stories get a little tiring and slow down the action too much.

However, the characters are done extremely well and have distinctive stories and roles. The house-mother who keeps bottles of liquor around the house and the drunk sorority girl (Margot Kidder) who cusses a lot and discusses watching turtles and zebras mate add a fun element. There is a final girl (Olivia Hussey), but she is not quite the cutthroat fighter-type we have all come to love. Remember, this movie was released before there was such a thing as a final girl. The first half of the movie also has some very funny lines, props and scenes, and counters the drama well.

It does lack some things though. The killer has no real identity, which is a little frustrating because it feels random for no good reason. It completely lacks a back story, and many times when the killer calls, what he says is inaudible. The things you do hear don’t add anything special, and much of the profanity seems unnecessary. The original also takes you on a roller coaster with twists and turns, but it doesn’t wrap it all up well.

The Remake of Black Christmas

Black Christmas 2007

Black Christmas 2006 did something unique: it gave a much-needed back story. Having watched these out of order, I did not realize how much back story they added, but it works. The back story makes the killer more dynamic and interesting, and you can understand his motivation. I may receive some backlash for this, but if I had watched these for the first time in order, I would have been really confused as to “why?” after the original. You have to watch both to get a full well-rounded story.

The remake also completes the story. Spoiler: the final girl wins. The original ends like so many modern horror movies, leaving itself open to a sequel. The remake does not do this. There is a very clear plot arc, and it fills in the holes from the original.

New Black Christmas does go dark fast. The unnecessary shock factor ranks No. 1 as my least favorite thing about modern horror because filmmakers feel that if they slack off on a good story or, in this case, character development, they can add a killer making Christmas cookies out of his mother’s skin, and it works just as well. Wrong. Sure, I expected the remake to have more blood and gore, but some aspects make it seem like they were trying too hard. We don’t need to see him eat eyeballs or his mother because it adds nothing to the movie.

The verdict: Which is a better-made movie? The original. Which do I enjoy more? The remake.

We look forward to hearing from you if you’ve seen these, and if you haven’t, you should add them to your Halloween watchlist. Although, I watch them at Christmas time too!

My Bloody Valentine: Original vs. Remake

Happy October, everyone! We’re excited to bring you our annual Halloween-themed posts for the month. For 2015, original and remade horror movies will go head-to-head, and we’ll try to pick a favorite. We hope you enjoy the reviews, and comments are always welcome!

My Bloody Valentine: Original (1981) vs. Remake (2009)

Photo: denofgeek
Photo: denofgeek
Photo: denofgeek









When the remake came out, I remember several bad reviews because they changed nearly everything. I can understand how purists would argue it’s terrible because so much changed. However, I think you have to look at it like a re-imagining, much like Zombie’s Halloweens, which is not always easy. With that in mind, I love these movies, and they deliver delightful horror fun in different ways.


I was surprised by how much I loved the original My Bloody Valentine. It has a solid story, strong characters, and is shot very well. The laundromat scene is probably one of the best kill scenes during this time period. The camera work in this scene has a monster-movie feel to it and increases your heart rate a little. The remake of My Bloody Valentine is just good slasher fun. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and when you watch them back-to-back, I don’t think the remake was supposed to. They did not intended to outdo the original, just modernize it for a new generation.

There really aren’t a lot of similarities. Sarah’s character is the same. They both use Axel’s name, and the Harry Warden story line is used. Both slasher movies are set around Valentine’s Day, and we can assume the killer gets away. That’s about it.


These are what set the movies apart. The stories are completely different: they reversed the two main characters, the killer is different, etc. Here’s a breakdown:

  • The original focuses more on the “curse” or urban legend surrounding the holiday. For example, if the kids have the Valentine’s Day party, people will die. The killer moves the hearts upside down when he kills, and we see way more extracted human hearts. In the remake, the holiday is more of an aside, and the movie could take place any time of year. This allows the original to have more purpose, whereas the remake feels almost like a senseless revenge film.
  • Both take place in a small town, but the original has more of a close-knit feel. In the remake, the characters don’t seem to like each other. They back-stab, allow adultery, and just put up with one another. In the original, the adults hang together and watch out for the younger adults, and the YAs party together. There’s also an even mix of both age groups in the original, and you get to know the town. In the remake, you only get to know the younger adults, who act like their 50 instead of 25.
  • The remake is more scandalous. I’m sure this was done to appeal to 21-century audiences, and it works. As much as I love comradery, I enjoy watching Irene (Betsy Rue) chase the trucker down while completely naked. Tom (Jensen Ackles) locking himself in the cage is pretty ingenious. Sarah (Jaime King) trying to save the little skank sleeping with her husband is touching. The remake was also meant for 3D, which does not add a lot, but it adds a more fun element.

So, how to I rank them? It’s a tie for me. Both My Bloody Valentines entertain and rank high in my slasher movie cannon. For a solid film, watch the original; for a less serious treat, watch the remake. Either way, both are tons of bloody fun!

I Want Halloween, But …


It’s the third week of September, and I have been looking for Halloween decorations for two weeks. It’s my favorite holiday, and I planned to decorate and enjoy it in September and October. Just like people who decorate for Christmas on November 1.

However, I cannot find anything. My local grocery store is the only place with decorations, but I want more variety. I want aisles of cool decals and props, masks, and costumes. So, that takes me here. Why do retailers stock Christmas decorations before Halloween is over, but I can’t find Halloween decorations six weeks before the day? I know many people love “the holidays,” but I don’t. October is my favorite month, and I want to celebrate!

Time for a Change

We need to bring back the fun in Halloween. It’s about scary movies, pranks, costumes and, of course, candy! By the way, you can find a $ ton of candy right now. And maybe that’s it. Retailers know we will buy 800 lbs. of candy in the fall, but we may not buy a skeleton or pumpkin. Maybe if we traded the 300-ounce bag of candy for a pumpkin to carve, we’d shed a few pounds and enjoy creating something.

Let’s save some money and reduce stress, too. Halloween is considerably less expensive than Christmas. You don’t have to buy a costume; you can use stuff around the house. You don’t have to buy anything for other people or face crowds of shoppers. There’s little traffic, usually the weather is warmer, and it’s the last fun holiday of the year. The remaining require lots of eating – which means more weight gain – and time with people you may or may not like.

It’s time to bring back Halloween! It’s time to buy a scary mask, and pop out at someone. Carve or paint a pumpkin for a cheap activity. Have movie marathons, decorate the house with lights, skeletons, witches, ghosts, and whatever else. Most importantly, have fun!

I did manage to find purple placemats to finish the table :)

Upcoming on RevPub

In honor of our Halloween traditions at RevPub, we’ve decided on our post theme for the October. We are discussing horror originals vs. remakes, and we are very excited to review them for you. Which ones we have picked are a surprise though. If you want to catch up on previous year’s themes, check out these posts:

Ranking Horror Movies

Our Halloween Costumes

RevPub Picks Halloween Specials