He faces a group of educated young women among the pretty colorful lights of Christmas celebrating a white patriarchy. While his uncomplicated horror is far inferior to this year's Ready or Not, Black Christmas provides a satisfying sense of justice. And when it comes to light and easily digested Christmas revelry, you can not go past stupid one-liners like "Ho ho ho, bitch".
Black Christmas starts with a girl who goes home alone at night, never really surprised by his horrors. It also does not allow you to invest a lot in young female characters, which can be a good thing if so many die on the screen.
Riley, played by Imogen Poots of Green Room, is a hipster college student who sisters use diva cups, drink green juice and make petitions to fire their misogynist faculty. She is quieter than her passionate sisters who are planning to perform at one of the college bro houses, where a Christmas carol and dance turns the Mean Girls' performance into a rape culture statement.
Riley's self-confident friend Kris, played by Charmed's Aleyse Shannon stands out from the less defined sisters, with her signature list to oust Cary Elwes's Professor Gelson. Elwes, who is broke for most of the movie, is doing a great job.
Behind the curtain of the Christmas card is a masked killer from the costume shop, who takes the girls out for free. The murders are appropriately Christmas-themed and include icicle impalements and Christmas light strangulations preceded by spooky text messages – an aspect of the tormenting word that gets around.
Director Sophia Takal has very little blood and the deaths are never free. The same is not true for the megaphone-loud news from which regularly bubbles characters, such as "Women live in male worlds" and "Now you never need a man". While these often wear down, they compensate for moments when women mutually reinforce each other: "Build yourself up again, bitch."
A few phrases complete the ending, along with some silly college rituals involving hooded figures and choral music. The cat-and-mouse game runs out of steam at some point, as it lacks neither the driving premise of Happy Death Day nor the general depth of the feminist cult horror Jennifers Body Riley, who is still obviously affected by a trauma of the past is. Their journey to places like dealing with reports of rape by the authorities is just enough to keep us alive.
Nevertheless, the central conflict between men and women will not be tasty for everyone. The one-dimensional villains go so far as to argue that they, the men, have been degraded by women, marginalized and threatened with their livelihoods. These are unsubtly statements, but at least as large, dull objects that prevent the film from pretending to be more than it is.
With the sensation of an abrupt end after 90 minutes, the charged material of Black Christmas does not leave this behind more than superficial tracks. But his Gung-Ho heroines make for a fun diversion, albeit as a disposable item.
Black Christmas will be released in the UK and Australia on December 12 and in the US on December 13.