Matthew Brady's Movie Review of Black Christmas aka Silent Night, Evil Night (1974)

Rating of

Black Christmas aka Silent Night, Evil Night (1974)

A solid Christmas movie wrapped up in terror
Matthew Brady - wrote on 12/24/20

"Agnes, it's me Billy... Agnes, Agnes don't, don't tell what we did Agnes."

Chills down my spine.

There’s something about horror movies set around Christmas that makes the magical season feel so unholy, yet still calming. In ‘Black Christmas’, whenever it’s night-time in the movie, there’s nothing but complete blackness that makes everything from inside the house or outside feel so closed off in a claustrophobic nightmare.

One of the most effective and chilling slasher movies of the 70’s that actually scared me. Before John Carpenter's 1978 ‘Halloween’, there was ‘Black Christmas’, and before there was Jamie Lee Curtis, there was Olivia Hussey, the originally scream queen. Both movies are remarkably similar: set at a particular time of year and feature a killer with serious breathing problems and has a slow build-up that gives the audience enough time for us to care for the characters. Am glad this is getting some recognition in recent years.

The camera work and POV shots combined with the shadows made much of the movie so disturbing but also memorable. Major praise must go director Bob Clark for pulling all of this off. However, I still can’t believe he made this, since Bob Clark has the strangest career of any director out there.

The soundtrack is both eerie and atmospheric. Listening to it was honestly so uncomfortable. Guys, I can’t emphasis this enough, this movie is so freaking creepy, and funny enough, I didn’t expect it to be.

I think what makes this movie so effective is that the victims aren't being pursued by some kind of masked killer; in reality, it's just some guy lurking in the shadows that could be anyone. Also, it's not as if the killer is following the characters everywhere, they go; he's in the house the entire time and we the audience know that right from the beginning. A very Hitchcockian move.

Overall rating: I can’t recommend it enough.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays everyone! Stay safe and healthy.

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