Movie Review: Black Christmas (1974)

This is an interesting horror movie to start our Christmas movies with. As always, but restated for this review especially, spoilers below.

One of the things a lot of people may not realize (because of the success of Halloween and related movies centered around the holiday of Halloween) is that the original horror stories with a holiday theme were Christmas related. This is but one example. The first actual holiday horror for Halloween (that I can find) was the movie Halloween. Before that it was all Christmas and a spate of Day of the Dead and a few New Years horrors.

This movie has a lot of familiar elements in it, especially among movies from the rough time period: we’ve got a phone stalker (with a now all-too-familiar twist), a house full of unprotected vulnerable girls (in this case mostly drunk sorority girls), and a lot of weird moralizing for a horror film. This is not a slasher film, despite having a sort of spree killer after young people. This is a slow paced, mostly off-screen action sort of movie.

Also, despite being set in a literal sorority house, there is no nudity. This movie didn’t go that route at all: no contrived shower scene or weird changing scenes. It’s Christmas, it’s freaking cold, and everyone is all buttoned up. Due to that, there is no post-sex killing of the coeds.

Black Christmas is weird, with an unexplained freakshow villain, and also a lot of intentional humor. There are no effects aside from some basic wound gore, and that’s pretty tame. All in all, it’s a slow burn with a twist, and it’s worth seeing if you’re wanting to catch a Christmas themed horror movie.

Christmas starts out 1-0.

Report card:
Runtime: An hour thirty-seven.
Acting: Varied but above average.
Effects: Fake blood, so nothing to judge.
Violence: Yes, mostly off screen (even during the scenes, you don’t see much of it).
Dead Townsfolk: Between six and eight, depending on how you count them (I don’t like counting people who the killer doesn’t kill explicitly).
Revenge Kills: None.
Gun Use: No.
Gore: No.
Creepy? Not really.
Monster Type? A lunatic.
Monster Ick Factor: Kind of, his phone calls are gross.
Funny? Yes, intentionally.
Nudity: Not a nip.
Pet Death: I’m pretty sure the cat got too curious.
Pacing: Only if you expect a slasher film.