No sooner have we learned of its existence before the Black Christmas remake is generating a slew of headlines. First there was the reveal that the film would be directed by rising talent Sophi Takal, best known for the 2016 psychological thriller Always Shine. Now we’ve also learned that the veteran acting presence of Cary Elwes will be joining the cast as well.
Elwes is of course known, and will always be known, for his iconic role in The Princess Bride, although the actor has steadily worked since. He’s been in his fair share of horror roles over the years, including the Saw series, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Bride and Psych 9. He’ll also be in the upcoming third season of Stranger Things and the third season of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which seems to suggest that this could be a full-on Cary Elwes career revival. Here, he’ll be joining a cast that includes Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Brittany O’Grady, Lily Donoghue and Caleb Eberhardt. Poots is presumed to be playing the lead role, which may or may not be a re-imagination of “Jess Bradford,” the character from the original Black Christmas who we listed as the #1 Final Girl of all time.
The original 1974 Black Christmas is often cited by horror geeks and film historians as the first true “slasher movie” to tick all the boxes necessary to be cited in that genre, coming four years before John Carpenter produced a similar film in the form of Halloween. It was directed by Bob Clark, better known for Porky’s, and ironically for directing Christmas classic A Christmas Story years later. The film takes place on a college campus, where Jess Bradford is a member of a sorority where girls start disappearing mysteriously. The remake (it was also remade in 2006, poorly) sounds much the same, except with an additional dose of proactive feminism to update it for the #MeToo era. The synopsis:
“Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays. One by one, sorority girls on campus are being killed by an unknown stalker. But the killer is about to discover that this generation’s young women aren’t willing to become hapless victims as they mount a fight to the finish.”
It sounds like this may be presented as novel, but come on—we’ve seen slashers for more than 20 years that feature strong women fighting back against their would-be killers. Sidney Prescott, anyone?
Regardless, Black Christmas is getting underway very soon, eyeing a quick production and a Dec. 13, 2019 release.