Director Sophia Takal's Black Christmas marks the second remake of the 1974 slasher, with the director confirming that her take on the concept is less about following the specific plot points of its predecessors and is more inspired by the feelings she experienced while watching the film. The original film focused on sorority house that becomes the target of harassing phone calls, with the community investigating the source of the torment and revealing horrifying discoveries. The 2006 remake had a similar plot, though it expanded the backstory of the tormentor to explain what motivated them to harass the sorority sisters.
"This movie, even though it’s very, very loosely based on Black Christmas, I’d say the plot is extremely different," Takal revealed to Entertainment Weekly. "It’s more inspired by the feeling that Black Christmas made me feel watching it, this idea of misogyny always being out there and never totally eradicable. So that was the jumping-off point for how I came up with this plot. I’d compare it more to how Luca Guadagnino remade Suspiria than to a straight-ahead remake."
She added, "The original Black Christmas feels so contemporary and modern for the time. Since then I feel like there have been so many movies about sorority sisters where the women have been portrayed as dumb, bimbo-y idiots. What I love was this was a group of women who, even though there was some conflict and strife — you know, Margot Kidder was a real spitfire [laughs] — they were all very much three-dimensional, strong female characters. I wanted to make something that reflected our time right now, drawing more from what the original evoked for me rather than great plot points. For me, it was about what does it feel like to be a woman in 2019?"
As evidenced by the film's first trailer, it was clear that this new approach would reinvent a number of concepts from the original film. Takal noted that her approach, which she co-wrote with April Wolfe, was inspired by the widespread reveal of abuse in our culture.
"[At] the beginning of the #MeToo Movement, it seemed like there was a really big reckoning, particularly in the film industry, but in lots of industries, where powerful men were being called out for their predatory behavior," the filmmaker pointed out. "And then, in early 2019, I sort of felt, and I know a lot of women who I know felt, the creeping back of these predatory men into positions of power and this feeling of like, 'Oh, even when you’ve won the battle you still have to battle this patriarchal structure.' It seemed like everyone, the men and the women involved in the movie, on screen and off, were all really committed to exploring that feeling and were really interested in making a movie about that."
Black Christmas lands in theaters on December 13th.
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