Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas

Black Christmas is one of the first slasher films. Like its contemporaries, it has a tame level of violence and gore by modern standards, though it lacks the gonzo realism of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the restrained artistry of Halloween.

Instead, Black Christmas is content to rest on the laurels of its creepy premise, with a serial killer lurking in the attic of a sorority house. There’s few attempts at big scares (although the crank calls in the film are dementedly frightening).

It’s particularly interesting for how closely it follows the then-non-existent “slasher rules.”

It does have:

–          most of the archetypes, down to the “fool” of the drunken sorority housemistress,

–          a gradually accumulating body count,

–          frequent use of the killer’s POV,

–          long stretches without much happening

–          and characters acting very stupidly.

But there are some twists on the subsequent formula; for instance, the final girl isn’t virginal – she gets a whole abortion subplot. In fact, the virgin is the first victim. The confrontation between said final girl and the apparent killer isn’t even shown onscreen. There is a twist regarding the killer’s identity (of course), which manages to be simultaneously predictable and chillingly effective.

Rating: 137/200

4 thoughts on “Black Christmas (1974)

    • Do you mean that the 1974 one had a great ending, or that the remake (which I haven’t seen) had a great ending? I did really like the ending of this film; I actually thought the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes were the best parts of the movie!

  1. Pingback: John’s Old School Horror Corner: Black Christmas (1974) « Movies, Films & Flix

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