Festive Frights: A Love Letter to BLACK CHRISTMAS
We all know Halloween is a horror fan's biggest holiday, but Christmas is a close second. Welcome to our celebration of yuletide fueled terror, our 12 Days of Festive Frights.
Christmas is the time of year when families gather together and celebrate the holiday season. Presents are exchanged, copious amounts of sweets are consumed, joy is spread, Christmas movies play, and in some cases, snow blankets land for a wintery holiday feel. However, there are many out there who take an alternative route when it comes to Christmas movies. If you are reading this, you may take the road less travelled in which this site loves to take - the horror route. One movie that should be in the lineup for every horror fan’s December watchlist is Black Christmas from 1974. It seems to be a cult favorite these days for the holiday season. Personally, it is one of my go to’s for the holiday season.
Everything about this movie is wonderful slasher fun. A sorority house is plagued by an ominous killer as the girls are getting ready to go home for Christmas break. The killer is titled “The Moaner” because they call the house and make moaning noises while whispering gibberish to the listener on the other end. One by one, girls in the house die off in horrific ways. Some may say this is too terrifying for Christmas, but it’s just right for horror fans all around.
Jess (Olivia Hussey) is uncertain about the disappearance of her friends, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, trying to calm a boyfriend (Keir Dullea) that is lashing out about her personal decisions, and trying to figure out how to get rid of this mystery moaner. Barb (Margot Kidder) is Jess’s drunken buffoon of a friend that gives all the comedic relief you need. However, next to the two females in this that own every scene they’re in, John Saxon deserves a major nod for his role as Lt. Ken Fuller. He brings balance and command to Black Christmas. Furthermore, his eyebrows deserve a line in the end credits. They are absolutely a thing of beauty and a character in themselves, and no, I am not joking.
The Moaner is one of the better killers in a slasher flick. I say this because - *spoiler ahead* - you never really find out who he is. It aides to how intensely creepy he is. At most, all we get of the killer is the muttering of random lines through the phone or prior to kills and the glimpse of one of his eyes. Everything else is up for grabs. You think you know the whole movie, and then it slaps you across the face to reveal something completely different.
Aside from the acting and characters, another element that needs recognition is the all around aesthetic of the film. It is extremely clear that this movie was a product of the 70’s. Yellow and red hues paint across the screen while the wardrobe includes stylish checkered printed suits, turtlenecks, and collared shirts under a vest.
Each aspect of this movie fit so well together that I find it hard for people to dislike this, but hey, to each their own. Another thing I find fascinating is that Bob Clark not only created this joyous horror film, but he also did A Christmas Story which is now played on repeat Christmas day on TV. Hats off to you Mr. Clark and thanks for filling our holiday spirit with a little terror.