Black Christmas(1974)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesday]
There is much to be said about this seminal slasher flick, but I’ll try to keep this somewhat brief. However, I feel it is important to point out that this particular film helped pave the way for every slasher film that followed, and it is the first film to give us the “killers POV” with the camera. The violence is clever but in good taste. It’s no surprise this film has spawned two separate reboots – but each one has its own identity with its own bone to pick.
The film centers around a sorority that stay at their home over Christmas Break. In the early frames we witness as an anonymous person crawls into their attic and hides, and we see one of the sisters get picked off without anyone knowing. What follows is a series of investigating her whereabouts, interloping with a series of murders occurring elsewhere in the town, and the sorority is plagued with constant vulgar phone calls – all of which are a combination of manic laughter, screaming, swearing, and pleads for help. They are very unsettling and serve as the catalyst for our sisters who are unaware of what lurks in their attic.
Bob Clark’s film is classy, never focusing on any sexuality or nudity to sell the characters although it revolves around a sorority and their stigmas. Instead we get thorough character developments as the sisters deal with their own demons (including one who plans to have an abortion only a year after Roe V. Wade – rather transgressive for the time), and we have a manic prank caller scaring the hell out of them throughout. It’s no spoiler since we are aware of this the entire time, but this is the original film to incorporate the classic tag line of “the calls are coming from in the house.” The final girl is very strong and determined and the Christmas spirit rings throughout serving as a reason rather than simply being a backdrop.
It’s no wonder this film has inspired two reboots – one of which is in theaters at the time of this publication. It’s scary and suspenseful and it holds up even after these years. The 2006 version decided to focus on the gore and the sexuality, while the 2019 adaptation wants to put feminist issues on the forefront. It’s safe to say that this one has its own identity and it makes for a chilling and classic holiday fright flick.
Black Christmas is available for streaming on Shudder, Tubi, Vudu, YouTube video (For $1), Amazon Prime, and on DVD/Blu Ray.
Merry Christmas to you, from all of us here at The Gruesome Gazette!
Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra