Black Christmas

Black Christmas ★★★

In the new Black Christmas, a remake of the 1974 slasher, Riki Lindhome of the band Garfunkel and Oates contributes revisionist lyrics to the classic holiday song “Up on the Housetop.” The altered tune, performed by sorority sisters at a fraternity talent show, calls out college rape culture to an audience of cheering young women and confronted fratboys. The film is bound to have a similar effect, as director Sophia Takal, co-writing alongside April Wolfe, constructs a relevant work of horror about women fighting back against institutional misogyny. In the wake of #MeToo’s public conversation about sexual assault and believing women, many can finally talk about patriarchal abuses of power and a culture designed to suppress female voices. Takal fashions a film that openly continues that discussion as part of its surface, calling out the legacy of white male power, and abuses of that power, inherent to higher education. And while its justified political remarks in the dialogue threaten to turn the holiday-themed slasher into a polemic, it does something unique by simply existing outside the exploitative status quo associated with the genre.

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