[Interview] Sophia Takal on Why the New 'Black Christmas' Replaces Billy With a Cult of Killers

There’s a new Black Christmas in town, and this time it’s a very different film from the original. Even the killer is completely different this time. Instead of a mysterious creep named “Billy,” Sophia Takal’s remake is about sorority sisters who are hunted by a whole cult of homicidal misogynists.

It’s a giant change to the Black Christmas tradition, and in a new interview with Bloody-Disgusting Sophia Takal explained that the change came from a close reading of the original film, along with a serious thought process about this moment in history, and its place in the history of sexual politics.

“After Blumhouse approached me about making the movie I went back and I rewatched Black Christmas and one of the things that I was really stuck by this time, the thing that jumped out to me was that at the end of the movie when the main character kills her boyfriend – who we’ve come to believe is the killer – and then is kind of left alone in her room by the men who were meant to protect her,” Takal remembers.

“Then you find out the real killer is this shadowy figure, who you don’t actually know who it is. I was struck by how clear to me that was a metaphor for sexism and misogyny, and this idea that sometimes women think they’ve won a battle but this kind of misogyny is kind of waiting in the shadows to destroy us if we fall asleep,” she adds.

“Kind of going back to my mind state earlier this year, Bret Kavanaugh had just been confirmed [to the Supreme Court, amidst accusations of sexual assault] and that felt like such a… it just felt like such an important moment in our culture for so many reasons,” Takal explains.

“But one of the things that really struck me was how it was so similar to Clarence Thomas and how this idea of progress felt way more cyclical than a clear, straight-line trajectory of progress,” Takal says. “And all these predatory men who had been called out during the #MeToo movement, some of them sort of started re-entering society without totally reckoning with what they had done.”

“So I sort of started feeling the same feeling that I had as an audience member watching the original, this time, and just being like holy shit, they’re still in the shadows,” she says, placing the original film in modern context. “That just felt like that was about this moment in time. And that was the seed of the original that made it seem worthwhile to me to remake this movie.”

“With these multiple killers the idea is you can’t ever completely kill or destroy misogyny and sexism, so the killers came to represent that,” Takal concludes, pointedly.

You’ll learn even more about the new Black Christmas killers when you see the remake. It’s in theaters right now.

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