Walk into a room filled with people and ask each one to name a Christmas horror. I would wager money that most of that room would name Black Christmas. It’s arguably the most famous Christmas themed horror out there even getting a theatrical released remake in 2006. You can read our review of that here.
Released in 1974, Black Christmas was directed by Bob Clark and written by A. Roy Moore. It boasts an impressive cast that includes Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder and John Saxon.
The story is centred around a sorority house where the girls inside are receiving obscene calls from an unknown man. When he calls, the girls seem to find the whole situation funny until one, Barb (Margot Kidder) decides to tease him. The caller’s tone completely changes here and he ends that call telling her that he will kill her.
From this point on, things get even darker as the members of the sorority house get offed by an unseen killer. Leading to one of the finest twists and satisfying endings in horror.
At its core, Black Christmas is just a slasher but it is layered with intelligent suspense-based horror. There are more enough moments throughout where you might feel a little chill run down your spine. Even more impressively, it does this with minimal jump scares.
It’s also really brutal as the girls and unfortunate house-mother are killed off in nasty, realistic and violent ways. The first death comes in the form of suffocation and is expertly filmed to help you feel the desperation of the victim. Then later we get a visceral stabbing all while a group of carollers drown out the screams. It has the sort of scenes that get seared into your psyche.
A stellar cast really helps too as some heavy-hitters come and throw their all into this. Margot Kidder’s foul-mouthed character is a particular favourite, getting a laugh or two with her sleazy ways!
Then of course there is the twist, one that is famous for all the right reasons. In that few saw it coming and it helps turn the finale into a truly shocking and tension filled end. Even knowing what happens doesn’t dent its impact. Thrilling, frightening and very violent. Black Christmas isn’t just a great Christmas horror, it’s a great horror full stop.