“Black Christmas” Review

23 December, 2016

Year of Release: 1974
Director: Bob Clark
Screenwriter: Roy Moore
Director of Photography: Reginald H. Morris
Cast: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea

Synopsis: A group of sorority sisters terrorised by an anonymous caller find events unravelling over the Christmas holidays as the stranger’s vicious threats begin to coincide with a series of brutal murders.

Black Christmas Review:

Modestly conceived on a shoestring budget, “Black Christmas” is an early slasher movie with a huge amount significance within the horror genre. Easily forgotten and frequently undermined by later classics, the film seems oddly aware of the tropes its lays down behind itself as it paves the way for later thrillers like “Halloween” and “Maniac,” utilising pinched close-ups, point-of-view action, and crackling telephone conversations which shift from incomprehensible muffles to explicit threats.

Look at any slasher film today and you can still see the markings of “Black Christmas.” Ti West’s “The House of the Devil,” for example, desperately tries to reproduce the vintage aesthetic of the 1970s slasher movie. Effortlessly captured here in scenes that would look incredible as still photographs, “Black Christmas” is a worn and picturesque horror about a killer who violates a group of sorority girls, devirginising them with his voice as red herrings are thrown left, right, and centre.


Surprisingly well made for such a throwaway movie, “Black Christmas” also contains the odd moment of comic relief, particularly with the arrival of alcoholic housemother Mrs Mac. There’s a limit to the amount of fun that can be had when something sinister is hiding in the attic though and terror is always around the corner waiting to rear its ugly head within this suspenseful festive treat.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
Black Christmas
Rating
41star1star1star1stargray