12 days of holiday horror: 2006’s Black X-mas is an above average remake

Black Christmas - Courtesy Tubi
Black Christmas - Courtesy Tubi /

1974’s Black Christmas is still pretty much a beloved holiday horror film, while its two remakes/reboots don’t get a lot of respect. But hear me out, the 2006 remake is mostly a solid holiday horror film itself! And that’s coming from a fan who counts the original as “the horror movie that made me love horror movies.”

It’s true that what made the first Black Christmas especially creepy was the lack of background provided for our killer, known as Billy. The 2006 remake, referred to as Black X-mas, attempted to fill in those gaps, but I wasn’t mad about it, because Billy’s backstory was pretty chilling and delightfully gross.

Mild spoilers here, but the story goes that little Billy was born with severe jaundice, resulting in his skin and eyes having a creepy yellowish cast. His mother had zero parenting skills, and with the aid of her lover, killed his Dad (while he watched), then commenced to sexually assaulting Billy. It’s pretty much implied that Billy is actually his “sister” Agnes’s father, and Agnes definitely looks like a product of inbreeding.

My favorite moment in Black X-mas is when Billy finally kills his mother, then uses Christmas cookie cutters to make yummy treats from the skin on her back. It’s a scene that is both creative and gross, and the topping on the sundae is when Billy sits and eats the mommy cookies. Yuck! Also, yay!

Billy goes home for Christmas in Black X-mas

Billy is of course institutionalized after this feat, and escapes fifteen years later on Christmas Eve, leaving a note for the guard that reads “I’ll be home for Christmas.” When he returns to his old residence, he finds that it is now a sorority house, but climbs up in the attic to get comfy while he commences killing off the college girls living there.

Holiday horror
Black Christmas – Courtesy Tubi /

Black X-mas is such a fun holiday horror movie, and it’s chock full of Christmas lights and music. It also features Andrea Martin as the house mother, and fans of the original know that she appeared as Phil in the 1974 classic. What else is there to love? Oh, so much! Death by icicle, lots of icky eyeball trauma, the performance of Hallmark Christmas movie star Lacey Chabert, the sheer craziness of an insane person climbing up inside the walls of a house, death by Christmas tree star…the list just goes on and on.

Is it a perfect holiday horror film? No, it does go off the rails in the last 15 minutes or so, which was, according to writer/director Glen Morgan, due to the interference of Dimension Films’ execs Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Morgan claimed that the Weinsteins insisted on a different ending than was originally written. Whatever the reason, it’s unfortunate.

But, I love the audacity of this movie, and it is a far, far better remake than Blumhouse’s horrendous 2019 version. I can usually find something to love in nearly every horror film, but that 2019 film actually made me angry. On the other hand, I try to re-watch Black X-mas every holiday season, and I actually own a physical copy. You can currently stream Black X-mas on Tubi, which is a free streaming platform, check it out here.

Next. 12 days of holiday horror: Anna and the Apocalypse. dark

How do you rank the three Black Christmas films? Are any of them included on your personal list of favorite holiday horror movies? Tell us about it in the comments section.