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Black Christmas (1974)

Bob Clark’s imaginatively nasty low-budget Canadian slasher traps a group of college students in the snow-dusted sorority house of Sigma Lamba Chi, where they are terrorised by an obscene phone caller before being bumped off one by one.

Not just a seminal Christmas horror film but also one of the key prototypes for the slew of imitative slashers that would follow in its wake, Black Christmas even predates John Carpenter’s masterful Halloween (1978) by some four years.

Brilliantly utilising a series of alternating perspectives for his killer – including an opening POV soon to be borrowed by Carpenter in the aforementioned, and Brian De Palma for his film-within-a-film sequence in Blow Out (1980) – Bob Clark would later go on to helm much more innocent (but equally acclaimed) festive fare with A Christmas Story (1983).

Margot Kidder is a blast as a boozed-up sorority girl, but it’s the direction that most impresses in this quintessential festive shocker, something to which its awful 2006 remake barely even aspires.

blackchristmas_000Jess
Olivia Hussey
Peter
Keir Dullea
Barb
Margot Kidder
Mrs Mac
Marian Waldman
Phyl
Andrea Martin
Chris
Art Hindle
Mr Harrison
James Edmond
Clare Harrison
Lynne Griffin
Sgt Nash
Douglas Mcgrath
Patrick
Michael Rapport
Lt Fuller
John Saxon
Graham
Les Carlson
Mrs Quaife
Martha Gibson
Doctor
Robert Warner
Jean
Pam Barney
Wes
Robert Hawkins
Cogan
David Clement
Jennings
Julian Reed

Director
Bob Clark