Black Christmas offends religious groups in the U.S.

"It’s just a deliberate attempt to take something holy like Silent Night and put it as a background for murder movies."

The upcoming release of a Canadian horror flick that features a serial killer on a Christmas rampage has raised the ire of religious advocates south of the border but barely raised an eyebrow at home.


Canadian religious advocates dismiss Black Christmas as a typical slasher film that shouldn’t be given the free publicity it’s enjoying in the United States.

Groups like the Ohio-based Operation Just Say Merry Christmas say the trailer’s use of holiday images to promote the Dec. 25 release is an insult to Christians.

But that kind of uproar is just the kind of publicity B-movies seek, said Richelle Wiseman, executive director of Calgary’s Centre for Faith and the Media.

"When you do that you draw more attention to the film than it deserves," said Wiseman, whose group monitors the way religion is portrayed in the media. "That’s exactly what you don’t want to do."

The film is a remake of the 1974 cult classic Black Christmas, in which a psycho-killer harasses a group of sorority sisters, picking them off one-by-one over Christmas break.

It’s not slated for release in Canada and the U.S. until Christmas Day, yet some U.S. religious groups are already up in arms. They’ve seized on the trailer, in which Silent Night is heard in the background as the camera focuses on a plate of holiday cookies, supposedly made out of the killer’s family.

"It’s just a deliberate attempt to take something holy like Silent Night and put it as a background for murder movies," complained Jennifer Giroux of Operation Just Say Merry Christmas.

She said the film should be delayed until after Dec. 25, maintaining that the premise desecrates "one of the holiest days of the year to Christians."

Nun and online film reviewer Marie Paul Curley said Black Christmas looks like a typical horror film but wouldn’t critique it without seeing it first. "It’s very difficult to judge a film on the trailer because things can be taken out of context," Curley said.

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