Black Christmas

"Good"

Black Christmas Review


"If this picture doesn't make your skin crawl... it's on too tight!"

So went the promo tagline for Black Christmas, the 1974 cult horror classic which might have had epidermal layers on the go 30 years ago... but which feels pretty tame today.

The story's as old as, well, it's at least 30 years old. Pervert phone caller dials up a sorority house. Finally the police trace the calls... and he's in the house! Along the way, Black Christmas has the sorority girls go vanishing one by one. Still they don't really get it, going about their drunken holiday revelry without a care.

Black Christmas is unique in that we never really see the killer, who hides in the attic the entire time. Suspicions are cast on the crazy boyfriend (a post-2001 Keir Dullea) of the coed (Olivia Hussey) that survives the longest, but his creepiness is never fully explored. Making more of an impression is a pre-Superman Margot Kidder, whose drunken antics here foretell her future real-world behavior.

It's unfortunate that the middle half (or more) of the movie drags so badly. Nothing much happens except the occasional abduction while the cops bungle the show. Even the murders leave much to be desired -- a notable plastic bag suffocation notwithstanding. Overall, while Black Christmas would inspire many latter-day trapped-in-a-house movies like Halloween, its progeny would improve quite a bit on the formula.

The new DVD takes us back to the sorority house with an interesting retrospective (and if the credits are to be believed, the house is for sale). Various TV spots and trailers are curious, but skip the "alternate openings," which are just the credits sequences with different titles of the movie (including Silent Night, Evil Night and Stranger in the House).



Black Christmas

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th December 1974

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Film Funding Ltd. of Canada, Vision IV

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Jess Bradford, as Peter Smythe, as Barbara 'Barb' Coard, as Lieutenant Kenneth Fuller, as Mrs. 'Mac' MacHenry, as Phyllis 'Phyl' Carlson, James Edmond as Mr. Harrison, as Sargeant Nash, Art Hindle as Chris Hayden, Lynne Griffin as Clare Harrison, Michael Rapport as Patrick Cornell, as Bill Graham, Martha Gibson as Mrs. Quaife, as Laughing Detective, as Doctor

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.