Black Christmas

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.



Total Count: 31


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,946
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Black Christmas Photos

Movie Info

Black Christmas is an effective, frightening above average slasher movie with a good cast and a frightening, surprise ending. Barb (Margot Kidder) and Jess (Olivia Hussey) are lonely sorority sisters who are having a Christmas party in their sorority house during the Christmas break. Peter (Keir Dullea) is a mad-killer who terrorizes the women by making threatening telephone calls. As the body count mounts, the women realize that the killer may be in the house. Black Christmas, one of the first of the slasher pictures, is still frightening despite some plot devices which have now become standard and predictable. Director Bob Clark uses his excellent cast to great effect, and the script, written by Roy Moore, has some great plot twists and a good, scary surprise ending. Black Christmas has also been released as Silent Night, Evil Night and Stranger in the House.

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John Saxon
as Lt. Fuller
Lynne Griffin
as Clare Harrison
James Edmond
as Mr. Harrison
Doug McGrath
as Sergeant Nash
Martha Gibson
as Mrs Quaife
John Rutter
as Laughing Detective
Syd Brown
as Farmer
Les Rubie
as Search Party Member
Jack Van Evera
as Search Party Member
Julian Reed
as Jennings
Dave Mann
as Policeman
John Stoneham
as Policeman
Danny Gain
as Policeman
Tom Foreman
as Policeman
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News & Interviews for Black Christmas

Critic Reviews for Black Christmas

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (4)

  • 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.

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

    Dec 27, 2006 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

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

    Jun 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
  • Something of a period piece, though an influential one -- and still an effective festive horror, as a killer stalks the young women of a sorority while the men in their lives also try to control them. Margot Kidder is fantastic as the damaged Barb.

    Dec 5, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • There's no doubting that Black Christmas had all the advantages of being first of its kind. The film stands as the mother of the modern slasher. It was able to make its own rules, and subsequently created a template for the films that came after.

    Nov 1, 2018 | 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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