Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas (1974)

Static Mass Rating: 3/5

Release Date: Oct 18th, 2010
Certificate: 15
Running time: 98 minutes

Created by: Bob Clark

Cast: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Andrea Martin

Inspired by a series of murders in Quebec around the festive season, Black Christmas was the first in the line of Calendar Horrors to come. In the decade which followed, horror audiences would see movies like Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980) set around a specific date where a series of brutal and shocking murders would take place. It was also the first movie which featured a killer calling their victim from inside the house and would be played homage to some 2 decades later in Wes craven’s Scream (1996).

Although tame in comparison to some of today’s movies, Black Christmas was and still is an unsettling murder mystery. Set in a sorority house when the girls are making their Christmas getaway plans, they start receiving obscene phone calls. Later that night, upset by calls, Claire (Lynne Griffin) goes upstairs to pack her bags but instead ends up being suffocated by the killer. As he hides her body in the attic, the girls assume she has left, but when her father turns up looking for her, they begin to panic.

One by one the girls fall victim to the mysterious killer. As the police department try to trace the calls, they are still unable to identify the culprit. Margot Kidder, probably best known as Lois Lane in the superman movies does a wonderful turn as the foul mouthed student Barb, while 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Keir Dullea turns up as the piano-playing boyfriend of one of the girls. It’s also great to John Saxon as Lt. Kenneth Fuller, a role which isn’t too dissimilar from Lt. Donald Thompson whom he would play 10 years later in A Nightmare on Elm Street.


  • Halloween (1978)
  • Friday the 13th (1980)
  • Mother’s Day (1980)
  • Prom Night (1980)
  • Saturday the 14th (1981)
  • Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
  • April Fools Day (1986)

This newly repackaged versions aims to bring this horror classic to a new generation, but in a time when classics such as Evil Dead, A Nightmare On Elm Street and Exorcist are being released on Blu-ray packed with special features, Black Christmas somehow feels like the cardigan your Grandma gives you; it’s nice but its not as exciting as the other presents under the tree.

With some remastering, some interviews, deleted scenes, trailers and a look behind the scenes of this early entry in the slasher genre, this release would have gotten our full 5 stars.

3 Responses to “Black Christmas (1974)”

  1. Tweets that mention Black Christmas (1974) Review | Static Mass Emporium -- Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Static Mass Emporium, Static Mass Emporium. Static Mass Emporium said: Black Christmas (1974), the first Calendar Horror? [...]

  2. simest Says:

    There are still a few obvious ones.

    SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT (calendar themed if not named)

  3. simest Says:

    And if you include PROM NIGHT, you might also consider…..

    BLOODY BIRTHDAY is another.
    I think we had the quite recent VALENTINE (2001) also.

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