A harbinger of the slasher cycle kick-started by ‘Halloween’ four years later, Bob Clark’s 1974 ‘Black Christmas’ coined most of the familiar conventions. This twisted remake retains the original’s Yuletide setting and basic set-up – housebound sorority sisters terrorised by obscene phone calls and violent attacks – but also attempts a postmodern riff. By incorporating the first film’s psycho killer mythology into the remake’s narrative fabric, writer-director Glen Morgan’s script both reprises and comments upon Clark’s cult horror classic. Sadly, by substituting clever-clever plotting, expository flashbacks and a shoal of red herrings for the original’s creepy, cumulative suspense, Morgan loses focus and deflates the tension. To compensate, he simply ups the gore and nastiness quotient, with a particular emphasis on the removal and display of eyeballs. There are some enjoyably knowing subversions of the ‘slay ride’ formula and a few nice touches, notably the casting of one of the original girls (Andrea Martin) as the sorority house mother. But a modern horror movie featuring a non-ironic shower scene is far less knowing than it pretends to be.