Today was a toss up. For a few moments I was leaning toward “Children of the Corn,” but then it came to me that I have yet to write about the slasher film that beat all the rest to theaters. It’s a film that has been remade twice at this point and it is a film that definitely, sorry Carpenter, inspired the holiday horror craze. Today’s film is the 1974 Bob Clark powerhouse: “Black Christmas.”
What I love about this film, even though I have a soft spot for Katie Cassidy and Lacey Chabert in the first of the two remakes, is that the conventions of horror weren’t completely established just yet. While you would think you’re going in and watching a slice-and-dice fest, you are actually viewing more of a crime drama coupled with early themes of what became the true slasher genre.
“Black Christmas” is complete with a battle of life and death, and the backstory actually never fully get’s resolved, but it is done with both intensity and curiosity. There are strong comedic moments that naturally come with sorority antics, drunk moments and truly ditz-tastic commentary, but the film doesn’t give too much to the comedy from the fear that you are meant to and expect to feel.
If you’ve seen the first remake, which is closer to the original, you will notice a lack of in-your-face blood and scare. The original film didn’t rely on the pops and the gore to convey the fear that suspense was meant to provide the viewer. It’s a good and quick view that doesn’t require much but a love of horror to appreciate.
He’s come home; you should join him.