Stranger in the House

Critics Consensus

The rare slasher with enough intelligence to wind up the tension between bloody outbursts, Black Christmas offers fiendishly enjoyable holiday viewing for genre fans.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 23,059

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Movie Info

As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder), begin to receive anonymous, lascivious phone calls. Initially, Barb eggs the caller on, but stops when he responds threateningly. Soon, Barb's friend Claire (Lynne Griffin) goes missing from the sorority house, and a local adolescent girl is murdered, leading the girls to suspect a serial killer is on the loose. But no one realizes just how near the culprit is.

Cast & Crew

Olivia Hussey
Jessica Bradford
Margot Kidder
Barbie Coard
Keir Dullea
Peter Smythe
Andrea Martin
Phyllis Carlson
John Saxon
Lieutenant Kenneth Fuller
Art Hindle
Chris Hayden
Lynne Griffin
Clare Harrison
James Edmond
Mr. Harrison
Bob Clark
Director
Gerry Arbeid
Co-Producer
Bob Clark
Producer
Findlay Quinn
Executive Producer
Richard Schouten
Associate Producer
Carl Zittrer
Original Music
Mike Oldfield
Original Music
Reginald H. Morris
Cinematographer
Stan Cole
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Black Christmas

Critic Reviews for Black Christmas

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (10)

  • Made at a time when there were as yet no fixed rules for the slasher subgenre, here anything goes, and the survival of neither virgin nor even final girl comes guaranteed.

    November 13, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Only Marian Waldman as the house-mother comes across with any life.

    December 27, 2006 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The film still manages a good slice of old-fashioned suspense.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A whodunit that begs the question of why it was made.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
    New York Times
    Top Critic
  • ...Black Christmas is a holiday classic and a film that builds horror's foundation for more than its kills. It is with us 45 years later because of how it establishes tropes and how it presents a depiction of being a woman in a real and authentic way.

    December 27, 2019 | Full Review…
  • This is better than it sounds and much more effective than today's films. Great use of a premise that feels real. [Full review in Spanish].

    December 9, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Black Christmas

  • May 14, 2018
    Even if uneven and with many unnecessary scenes that are there just to bloat the paper-thin plot, this is an effective horror movie (and one of the precursors of the slasher subgenre) that can be quite disturbing and tense when refusing to reveal the killer's identity.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2015
    From director Bob Clark comes the classic horror film, Black Christmas. The story follows a college sorority that is preyed up on by a mysterious killer who makes bizarre, disturbing phone calls to the house and murders the residents one by one during the Christmas break. Starring Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and John Saxon, the casting isn't too bad. And Clark's directing style gives a creepy and atmospheric tone to the film that's quite effective. Still, the storytelling is a little weak, providing few answers as to who the killer is or his motives. Yet despite its problems, Black Christmas is a gritty and frightful slasher film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2015
    One of only two films in my adult life to have been in any way involved in giving me a sense of genuine fear.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 19, 2013
    best christmas movie ever
    Stella D Super Reviewer

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