Black Christmas - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Black Christmas Reviews

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April 11, 2018
One of the most criminally underrated horror films! Considered one of the first horror movies to "fund" the basis for the slasher films, this movie is well directed, and the acting is surprisingly very good. Bob Clark creates a very effective suspenseful atmosphere throughout the film, leading to a very scary open ending. Give it a chance for the next holidays, you guys, you will not be disappointed!
½ January 13, 2018
Way better than the remake
½ December 30, 2017
Atmospheric vintage slasher....much more enjoyable than any predictable modern day attempt at this genre.
December 28, 2017
Dark brutal horrific sadistic holiday slasher...I approve! It was entertaining and actually creepy, not great by any means, except for the cinematography. That was incredible for '74. And it didn't spoonfeed the audience. Plus it was genuinely funny in places. It felt cliche but only cuz this had the original tropes that started the cliches and thousands of movies would copy. Too bad the housemother was the only character I liked.
December 24, 2017
When I was a teenager back in the 90s I was already a hardcore horror fan, so when my Uncle Dennis heard I'd never seen a movie called Black Christmas he seemed absolutely perplexed. In fact, I'd never even heard of it. So off I went to the local video store and rented a movie that proceeded to scare the living shit out of me. Seriously, I'd seen countless horror flicks by this point in my life, and none of them managed to get under my skin the way Black Christmas did.

Halloween is rightfully credited with jumpstarting the slasher era, but many of the genre tropes and plot devices actually first appeared in Bob Clark's 1974 film. It's a simple premise; an unknown killer crawls into the attic of a sorority house and begins stalking and terrorizing the women with a series of terrifying phone calls. We've seen this done thousands of times now, but back then this was a fresh idea. It's also the way everything's executed that makes the film so effective. Black Christmas isn't concerned with gore or cheap jump scares, this is a movie that lays on the suspense and atmosphere so thick, at times it's almost unbearable. The innovative POV shots, cinematography, lighting, sound design, minimalist score...they all help create a constant sense of dread and claustrophobia that's simply masterful.

Black Christmas also benefits from a terrific cast and a smart script that treats its characters as real people, instead of the cardboard cliches the genre would become known for. Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Kier Dullea and John Saxon all make their characters three dimensional people we actually care about. There are also plenty of wonderful supporting character that help cut the tension with some unexpected humour. The film also deals with issues like mental health, alcoholism, abortion...not stuff commonly brought up in 1974. Of course, it's the unseen killer 'Billy' that makes the film truly terrifying. He's not an unstoppable monster in a mask, but an unpredictable psychopath who's haunting phone calls to the women are beyond unnerving.

Black Christmas is a classic horror film, a classic Canadian film, and just a classic film, in general. I've seen it countless times over the years, but I still vividly remember that first time watching it and barely being able to sleep that night. People only concerned with bodycounts and bloodshed should look elsewhere, but for those of us who love classic horror, suspense and atmosphere, Black Christmas is one of the very best the genre has to offer.
½ December 20, 2017
Superb horror thriller that remains one of the best in the slasher genre, along with being a fun, dark addition to the Christmas movie rotation. The cast is solid across the board, giving a realistic portrayal to their characters (Margo Kidder is fun as the boozy sorority sister while John Logan brings gravitas as the police detective in charge). Behind the camera, Bob Clark brings an understated & realistic take on horror thrillers, as characters react normally (as soon as one girl disappears, the police are contacted, who act with a determined manner). There are some nice, dated thrills as well, especially the police's attempt to track the killer's phone calls as the technician must race through the phone bank to find it. Overall, one of the best horror thrillers of the genre and a nice, dark addition to the holiday movie line-up.
December 12, 2017
Horrifying slasher. Sound design is amazing and the cop from Halloween is in here being stupid again.
December 9, 2017
I'm normally not a fan of the Christmas horror movies. It just feels wrong to put such a dark spin on the holiday. But as a slasher film fan I felt obligated to watch what is considered by many to be the first true slasher film, and I actually found myself really enjoying it. The whole Christmas aspect is actually pretty underplayed. It's the setting, and provides a cold environment and some nice visuals, but it's not in your face. This isn't a movie where the killer where's a Santa costume and judges who's been naughty. In fact we actually never get a good look at the killer, and his back story is mostly left to our own interpretation based on little hints sprinkled throughout. That's actually really cool. The film is creepy and atmospheric, and does a really good job utilizing the cliches it probably invented (like the subjective camera), and it ends on an ominous note that's really unsettling. It's funny because I hated Bob Clark's other Christmas movie, A Christmas Story. I found it weird, creepy, and just mean-spirited. In a slasher film though, that tone kind of works, and I enjoyed Black Christmas a lot more than I expected to.
October 31, 2017
Classic slasher that started it all
½ October 29, 2017
2.5/5. For a slasher movie, Black Christmas sure doesn't have very memorable kills. That said, the film is actually pretty funny and very progressive for its time in terms of the lead character, who is pretty likable. Black Christmas also has one terrifying sequence near the end, but for the most part, it's a fairly boring slasher film that only die-hard slasher fans should watch.
September 11, 2017
Chilling and frightening thanksgiving to Bob Clark's direction, as well as 'Kidder' and 'Hussey''s performances.
August 28, 2017
The horror film is unique and suspenseful
July 11, 2017
A cult classic that is great to watch around the holidays, reminding me of other films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho. Highly recommended
½ June 29, 2017
THE FIRST CANADIAN SLASHER MOVIE!!!! made in 1974!
90% of this film is PERFECTION with suspence HUMOUR that WORKS!!! Canadian actors ecept for the awesome John Saxon!, and the guy from 2001 a space oddessey!!! it deserves alot better the 64%? MORE LIKE 95%, only reason i dont give this 100% is because the LAST 10 Minutes REALY DOSENT MAKE ALOT OF SENCE DIRECTING WISE!!!! watch the movie and you"ll get my meaning, but one of the most PERFECT slasher horror movies EVER MADE!!!
½ June 28, 2017
Some occasional scary moments, but is overall boring, slow, and painfully one dimensional.
June 10, 2017
Tense, creepy, and anxiety-inducing. Instead of comfort and joy, Christmas season of '74 brought bloodshed and misery to a group of sorority sisters during their winter break. Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and Andrea Martin lead a cast of likable characters whose lives are thrown into chaos when one of their own goes missing. All while a mysterious stranger keeps making obscene and threatening phone calls. For many horror movies, especially slashers, not a lot of effort is put into making us care about the victims. 'Black Christmas' is different. These are all troubled young women who we can sympathize with. The deaths are painful to watch as we've come to care about them enough to want them to survive. The killer, "Billy", is easily one of the creepiest slasher villains in horror history. His ability to change his voice to be like a baby crying, a hysterical woman, a squealing pig, and other various disturbing sounds may at first seem random. But if you listen carefully you can catch bits of information regarding his past. 'Black Christmas' is an underrated masterpiece in horror which I highly recommend.
June 6, 2017
I was very pleased to give this a spin in the newly released Scream Factory Blu-ray, which looks to be a major upgrade from the older Blu release.

The film is as great as ever, with the balance between humor and the creepiness of the stranger lurking in the house working very well. Your cast of sorority girls are all easily identifiable in what have now become standard stereotypes, and it builds to some nice reveals in the final act.

Recommended.
April 27, 2017
One of my favourites
March 20, 2017
Vulgar for its time and a little creepy. Black Christmas turns the happiness of the holidays into a deadly scheme.
½ February 28, 2017
An under-appreciated slasher classic.
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