Directed (and written) by Glen Morgan
Starring: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Oliver Hudson, Lacey Chabert, Kristen Cloke, and Andrea Martin.
With a Rotten Tomatoes freshness rating of 15% and a rating of 4.6/10 on IMDb, I was surprised with what I got. This movie reminds me of the typical 80s slasher film. A group of sorority girls and their house mother are stalked in their house by an escaped mental patient who killed his family years ago.
The madman we are supposed to fear is Billy Lenz. He had a tortured and tormented childhood. Abused in every way by his hate-filled mother, he suffers being locked away in the attic, witnesses his father’s murder (at the hands of his mother) and even fathers a child with his mom. It is this child that becomes the true bane of his existence. He was born with a severe case of jaundice. This new baby, his daughter AND sister) doesn’t have any ailments, so mother loves her more. This eventually causes him to snap and try to kill his daughter/sister and his mother and stepfather. The only ones to survive are Billy and his daughter/sister, Agnes. Billy gets locked away in a mental institution and Agnes is sent to an orphanage.
Years later, Billy escapes when Agnes is released from the state’s care. They get together and decide to go back to their house for the Christmas holiday. The problem is, it’s now a sorority house…and almost everyone is home.
Together, Billy and Agnes move through the house leaving nothing but bodies and blood. The girls and their house mother (and a house guest) now must do their best to survive the night.
Although the general opinion of this movie seems to be an unpleasant one, I didn’t think it was bad. I thought the kills were predictable but, good. I AM aware that this is a remake of a 1974 film of the same name. I haven’t seen that version. It is said to be a groundbreaking film for the times.
I don’t understand all the negativity surrounding this film. No, the acting wasn’t A-list. No, the special effects were top notch. But, who cares??? If that’s what you are watching for, then your options are going to be very limited in this genre.
On a little side note, Michelle Christine Trachtenberg, who plays Melissa, was also in at least one Criminal Minds episode. I’m a big fan of that show.
This is not only going on my Christmas movie tradition list but, it’s something I could watch more than once.