This holiday season, slashers and sleighbells return with Black Christmas, a remake of the 1974 cult classic of the same name. Buzz has been brewing on this tempting tale of terror in no small part because of the talent behind it. Imogen Poots, who slayed us with Green Room, co-stars with Brittany O’Grady, Lily Donoghue, and Aleyse Shannon. Sophia Takal, who wowed us with Always Shine and Into The Dark: New Year, New You, helms. Plus, she co-wrote the screenplay with April Wolfe, host of the sensational podcast Scissor Sisters, on which she interviews female filmmakers about the genre movies they love. These women know good horror. With this remake, they seem to be taking a tale of sorority sisters stalked by a seasonal slasher to enticingly new setups. However, news the film will be rated PG-13 has some of Horror Twitter bugging out.
Here are some of the negative reactions to this announcement.
PG 13.. My god is that even a horror anymore 😂😂 this film just gets worse @wentz_bin— JD Salvator (@Jarod_D_T) November 13, 2019
This thing is DOA, nobody go see it!— David Charpentier (@DavidCharpen55) November 13, 2019
The new Black Christmas movie coming out is rated PG-13??? Did NOT see that coming. I wish these movie studios would stop pandering to the teen generation. Like c'mon. Give me blood and gore! I thought they were going to go all out with this! Disappointed… pic.twitter.com/psezOfEDLb— TeaWithJT 🏳️🌈 🦃 (@TeaWithJT) November 13, 2019
You get the idea. The fear here is that a PG-13 movie will mean Blumhouse is trading terror to broaden their demographic. But there were horror lovers, including filmmakers and film critics, who were far more hopeful.
It could work if they use ACTUAL horror elements and not rely on jump scares.— Joe Santi (@JoeAconite) November 13, 2019
Atmosphere. Creepiness. Tension.
Sexual contents is moot with the internet.
Language can be curbed.
Gore can be a crutch.
But the story/acting is KING.
So… we're bitching about Sophia Takal and April Wolfe's remake of #BlackChristmas not being rated R?… The original isn't even that bloody/gory. The kills are very reserved and tasteful in their execution.— Gwendolyn Jae Stone (@GwenLovesMovies) November 14, 2019
Also, Dr. Doom blew up heads Scanners style on a PG-13, don't forget.
All that really matters is whether or not the movie is any good, and we won't know that until December 13. Mostly, I'm just happy we're getting a Christmas horror movie on the big screen this holiday season. #BlackChristmas https://t.co/DDjnYrME40— John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) November 13, 2019
Already seeing the flood of takes that #BlackChristmas will suck because it’s PG-13. A reminder that ratings don’t define good horror.— Killer Horror Critic (@KillerfromSpace) November 13, 2019
Some other PG-13 horror films: Insidious…Drag Me to Hell…The Ring…Cloverfield…Killer Klowns from Outer Space…Critters…Tremors pic.twitter.com/DmxxwtsHgG
A rating does not define a horror film. The Changeling, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Deathdream, Burnt Offerings, Tombs of the Blind Dead, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Salem’s Lot, Race with the Devil, Lemora, The Other, Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, Poltergeist & Jaws were all PG.— Jovanka Vuckovic (@JovankaVuckovic) November 13, 2019
You know what else is PG-13? A QUIET PLACE. HAPPY DEATH DAY. SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK. LIGHTS OUT. INSIDIOUS. ESCAPE ROOM. THE FINAL GIRLS. To name a few.— Howlin’ Matt Donato (@DoNatoBomb) November 13, 2019
A rating doesn’t dictate quality.
That’s up to storytellers, performers, and filmmakers. https://t.co/DRBpoHFMwU
Frankly, the problem with a lot of modern slashers is putting *all* the focus on gnarly kills at a detriment to developed plotting.— Howlin’ Matt Donato (@DoNatoBomb) November 13, 2019
Deliver a balanced PG-13 slasher with deaths that challenge “PG-13” often, and you’ve still hooked me. Exactly my *hope* for BLACK CHRISTMAS.
Naturally, there was pushback, some of which was hilarious, like the exchange below.
my dude, A QUIET PLACE alone grossed $340m on a $17m budget, sits at a 95% critic score and 83% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, has an 82 metacritic score, a B+ CinemaScore and was so successful it got an almost immediate sequel greenlight.— Howlin’ Matt Donato (@DoNatoBomb) November 13, 2019
I…guess that's something I can't argue?— Howlin’ Matt Donato (@DoNatoBomb) November 13, 2019
Some of which sparked hilarious rejoinders.
Sorry but Men on Twitter have told me movies are only good when R rated, they have multiple use of the word fuck and loads of tits so this film will of course be trash, intent be damned— Tommy (@Tommy_Byrn) November 13, 2019
Imagine quote-tweeting this with “none of these are good” and that’s 99% of my mentions right now.— Howlin’ Matt Donato (@DoNatoBomb) November 14, 2019
Frankly, I’m disappointed. My friends drag me infinitely harder on a daily basis. I expect better from internet trolls who don’t even know me. https://t.co/NuB3Cn110h
A second wave of Black Christmas headlines surged when screenwriter Wolfe explained the thought process behind making the film PG-13.
Here’s the deal: We wrote it with an R in mind. When they did the test screenings, was clear that this movie needed to be available to a younger female audience because the subject matter is timely. Also I want to indoctrinate girls into horror. Doesn’t make it any less vicious! https://t.co/UMOdU3HQ4E— April Wolfe (@AWolfeful) November 13, 2019
LET GIRLS SCREAM IN HORROR IN A SAFE SETTING! THEY NEED THE RELEASE!— April Wolfe (@AWolfeful) November 13, 2019
Because of these tweets, Wolfe’s mentions now contain hostile and condescending retorts, but also a lot of support from horror lovers excited to see a film that invites teen girls into this space. That support extended beyond the replies.
Horror IS for everyone. Assholes just like to possess things because pretending like you own something is easier than actually trying to understand it.— Jordan Crucchiola (@JorCru) November 13, 2019
GO SEE BLACK CHRISTMAS ON DECEMBER 13! LITERALLY EVERYONE SHOULD COME. https://t.co/YpyCtZUDMY
Between the Sarah Dessen conversation the other day and the one about Black Christmas' rating today, there seems to be this weird pervasive thread of "things intended for a younger female audience are objectively BAD" and I am NOT HERE FOR IT.— Carly Lane-Perry (@carlylane) November 13, 2019
All the dudes mad that the new Black Christmas is PG-13 pic.twitter.com/W4QzNc3B93— Spencer Perry (@TheSpencerPerry) November 14, 2019
Fanboys secretly LOVE people who hate what they love, since it gives them meaning, it gives borders and form to their cute little infatuations. If everybody loved what they loved they couldn’t caress their rage boners so emphatically— Jason Adams (@JAMNPP) November 14, 2019
But back to Wolfe, Black Christmas is just the latest in her continued mission to share her love of horror, especially with those who feel like cultural gatekeepers are trying to bar them from its pleasures.
One of many reasons I started @SwitchbladePod was to make genre more accessible to everyone and everyone more interested in genre. I hope the community continues to expand. And I hope everyone knows they're totally fucking welcome.— April Wolfe (@AWolfeful) November 13, 2019
Oh, and I know people are gonna use "female empowerment" a lot surrounding Black Christmas. That's fine, but I really hate "lady buzzwords" that lose meaning over time. And I'll never tell you you HAVE to see our movie to support women. See it if it piques your interest!— April Wolfe (@AWolfeful) November 13, 2019
Black Christmas hits theaters on December 13. Check out the trailer below.
Header Image Source: Universal Pictures