MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 271 this week

Black Christmas (1974)

7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 17,520 users  
Reviews: 324 user | 187 critic

A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 47 titles
created 30 Sep 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 17 Jul 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 07 Mar 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 37 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas (1974) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Black Christmas.

User Polls

2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Five friends visiting their grandfather's house in the country are hunted and terrorized by a chain-saw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
The Shining (1980)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Phenomena (1985)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young girl, with an amazing ability to communicate with insects, is transferred to an exclusive Swiss boarding school, where her unusual capability might help solve a string of murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jennifer Connelly, Donald Pleasence, Daria Nicolodi
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After a young girl is brutally murdered during her first communion, her strange and withdrawn older sister becomes the main suspect.

Director: Alfred Sole
Stars: Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula E. Sheppard
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor
Certificate: GP Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A writer is stalked by a serial killer after witnessing a murder attempt on one woman's life.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno
[Rec] (2007)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

Directors: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Stars: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano
Inferno (1980)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi
Sisters (1973)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Staten Island apartment of lovely model Danielle becomes the scene of a grisly murder that is witnessed by her neighbor, Grace, a reporter. But the police don't believe her story, so ... See full summary »

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning
Angel Heart (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Harry Angel has a new case, to find a man called Johnny Favourite. Except things aren't quite that simple, and Johnny doesn't want to be found. Let's just say that, amongst the period ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Opera (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young opperata is stalked by a deranged fan bent on killing the people associated with her to claim her for himself.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini
Session 9 (2001)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Peter
...
...
Marian Waldman ...
...
Phyl
James Edmond ...
...
Sargeant Nash (as Douglas McGrath)
...
Chris
...
Michael Rapport ...
Patrick
Leslie Carlson ...
Graham (as Les Carlson)
Martha Gibson ...
Mrs. Quaife
John Rutter ...
Laughing Detective
Robert Warner ...
Doctor
Edit

Storyline

It's time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don't express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem? Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's beginning to look a lot like -- bloodshed! Christmas is almost here, and a deranged, axe-wielding psycho is terrorizing a sorority. As it happens, the mad murderer also makes obscene phone calls -- and he lives right above the girls... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Christmas  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 686,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Mrs. Mac was offered to Bette Davis See more »

Goofs

About seven minutes into the film, when "the moaner" calls, you can very clearly see the boom mic at the top of the frame as everyone gathers around the phone to listen. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. MacHenry: [singing as she packs her suitcase] Alligators come through the gate, but goodbye leg if ya get away late! Lollies love to pop!
See more »

Crazy Credits

A telephone is continously ringing throughout the final credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Caesar and Otto's Deadly Xmas (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

O Come All Ye Faithful
St. Simon's Choir
Edgar Hanson-Choirmaster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The original and perhaps the best slasher film ever made.
28 July 2004 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The girls of a sorority house are being tormented by a twisted prank caller who continually calls to convey increasingly vile and abusive sentiments. What at first appears to be a sick joke eventually turns violent for the girls during the season of supposed goodwill and merriment.

The original and maybe even the best, ‘Black Christmas' set the ball rolling for the slasher genre and was the biggest influence for the phenomenally successful John Carpenter classic, ‘Halloween' (1978), which was, in fact, originally conceived as a sequel. Although Italian director, Mario Bava, had previously created what some see as the first slasher movie, ‘Bay of Blood' (1971), it was ‘Black Christmas' that was to become recognised as the catalyst for one of the most lucrative sub-genres of horror cinema. Bob Clark (who previously made the kooky, enjoyable, low-budget zombie film ‘Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things' (1972)), still at this point something of an amateur director, took a simple yet naturally frightening concept and turned it into one of the most unsettling and nerve-wracking one hundred minutes in cinematic history. Only a select few films such as ‘The Haunting' (1963) and ‘Alien' (1979) are atmospheric enough to truly equate to the eeriness and feelings of apprehension that are to be induced by ‘Black Christmas'.

The simplicity of the production is what makes it so endearing. There are no overly bloody death sequences or unlikely, comic-book style events; the viewer is just presented with an unnerving tale which could easily have a strong basis in reality. Inventive camerawork and POV shots as well as a superlative use of lighting are the elements that combine to achieve the desired results. The often pseudo-claustrophobic environment of the sorority house, from where the vast majority of events occur, offers the perfect, vulnerable and unguarded location susceptible to intrusion and thus attributes to the continual foreboding atmosphere. Clark was not afraid to take time building both the story and characterisation as well as introduce the viewer to the aspects that he would use to build the suspense. This is prepared before plunging the viewer into a seemingly uncontrolled nightmare that one experiences along with the protagonists. Another aspect that firmly stands out is the mysterious way that everything is presented; even at the very end, very little has truly been explained yet everything seems like it should have an obvious explanation. Even in its undoubted simplicity, ‘Black Christmas' has complicated facets that require thought from the viewer to entirely comprehend the film. In some ways, the concealing of several key points puts the viewer's knowledge of events on a par with the actual characters.

‘Black Christmas' is also complimented wonderfully by strong acting performances from Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, John Saxon and a highly pleasant and amusing turn from Marian Waldman. Despite the tiny budget, this is a highly polished horror film that genuinely belongs among the elite of the genre. This is where it all started and those familiar with later slasher films such as ‘Halloween', ‘Friday the 13th' (1980), Slumber Party Massacre (1982) and ‘The House on Sorority Row' (1983) should be able to spot several of the now-clichés that first materialized in ‘Black Christmas'. My rating for ‘Black Christmas' - 8½/10.


57 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Jess was horrible horneddemon
Do you think Billy killed Jess? BattleRoyale96
FUN LITTLE THRILLER...BUT NOT 'HALLOWEEN!!' BogieandBacallfan
An actual family now lives in the 'Black Christmas' house jonathanstatsny
Lets Get This a Criterion Release ML1125
could Peter have helped the killer? ricky-may1
Discuss Black Christmas (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?