Not all Christmas stories are full of cheer – take the disturbing childhood of Billy Lenz, for example. Born during Christmas, little Billy Lenz suffered from Jaundice because of a liver defect, and was unwanted by his cruel mother (who only saw the husband she’d come to despise, when she looked at her son).
While she let her true feelings be known to him with beatings and abuse, only his father showed him compassion, like a parent should. But on Christmas Eve in 1975, his unfaithful mother gave him one of the most cruelest gifts of all, as she made five-year-old Billy observe his beloved father’s brutal murder at her own hands and those of her lover with a claw hammer.
Before burying him under the house, she locked Billy in the attic for good, to hold his silence of what he’d witnessed that night. His only contact from then on was when she came to punish him for making a noise or other such trivial nuisances, while she was with her lover and starting a “new” family.
As Billy’s mother fell pregnant with a daughter and treated her with love, which Billy had never experienced with his mother, Billy came out of the attic on Christmas Eve 1991, taking a rolling pin to his mother’s head, and a pointed tree ornament to her lovers eye before leaving his sister as disfigured as he was by blinding her. Before he could finish the job, police forced there way in and dragged him off to mental institution and his sister to a foster home, whose eye sight was saved in one eye… but not the other.
Cut to the present, where a security guard has been monitoring Billy’s progress since he came into his care, back in 1991. Knowing full well that during this time for fifteen years, Billy has made a break from this asylum, but never succeeding… until now.
Far away, his childhood home is now a sorority house, where nine sisters and their house-mother are celebrating the holiday season together …but tonight they’re about to get a surprise visitor… and it’s not Santa.
Comparing this version to the 1974 version, I thought this one was A LOT better, with the storyline. This version tells the entire story of Billy and his family. Also, they show you with flashbacks year to year. In the original version, I don’t remember them mentioning who Agnes was and what happened to her. Though, Billy did mention her a lot. So, it left me confused, as to what happened. Also, it didn’t explain Billy’s family, like it did on this one.
As for the graphics, I thought this one was more graphic and more intense, with the death scenes. I don’t recall too many slasher films that have the killer taking out their victim’s eyes, with their thumbs.
As for the acting, I thought everyone played their character roles correctly. The only issue I had was having Andrea Martin play the role of Ms. Mac. In the original version, she played the role of Phyllis Carlson. Even though, she played both characters well, I thought they should have just casted someone else. Another thing I really wished they done was keep the same character names, since it’s suppose to be a remake.
This movie was one of those rare remakes, where it doesn’t feel like you’re watching a revised version, but instead a part 2, in some ways. If you watch the original version and think about Billy getting caught and put into an asylum, at the end, then this movie feels like a sequel, which in reality it’s not.
If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s definitely worth watching. If you enjoy movies like Texas Chainsaw, Psycho, and Friday the 13th, then you’ll enjoy this movie, as well. Though, out of those 3, I think this movie is closer to Psycho, than anything else because of the way Billy and Agnes peek through the walls and both are insane. Also, the shower scene was kind of similar, as well. Except for not killing the girl and just peeking through holes in the floor.
Movie Critic Blog Rating: