With just a week to go until Christmas, many of us will have found that we’ve completely run out of our favourite festive films – having already binged our way through the likes of Elf, Home Alone, It’s a Wonderful Life and co.
But there may be one you’ve missed off this year, with movie fans encouraging others to check out a little-known Christmas movie from the 1970s that’s been dubbed the ‘scariest film ever made’.
Black Christmas is a low-budget horror film produced and directed by Bob Clark, which follows a group of sorority sisters who receive threatening phone calls during the holiday season.
It is said to have helped pave the way for the generation of slasher films that followed – including John Carpenter’s 1978 hit Halloween – and has attracted a huge cult following over the years, along with two remakes in 2006 and 2019.
Many people have been singing its praises as a solid alternative watch this Christmas, with one person tweeting: “The best Christmas horror film, the best slasher film, maybe the scariest film ever made. No excuse not to watch the original Black Christmas (1974). It's the season, after all.”
The best Christmas horror film, the best slasher film, maybe the scariest film ever made. No excuse not to watch the original Black Christmas (1974). It's the season, after all. pic.twitter.com/24gPBiqOJK— 🎄Trevor Henderson🎄 (@slimyswampghost) December 11, 2021
Someone else agreed: “A scary movie that doesn't diminish, no matter how many times you watch it!”
A third wrote: “This and Krampus are my go to Christmas horror movie films for the season.”
Another said it is the ‘best Christmas movie’, while one other commented: “It’s so damn good. While I respect Halloween, I’ve never felt a moment’s tension during any Michael Myers film. Black Christmas remains chilling.
"The acting is better than average, the phone calls are creepy, and the deaths are disturbing.”
One viewer said they watched it for the first time a month ago, admitting they hadn’t realised ‘how creepy it would be’.
They added: “Very underrated movie.”
Fans have said the same over on Rotten Tomatoes, where a full synopsis reads: "As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder), begin to receive anonymous, lascivious phone calls.
"Initially, Barb eggs the caller on, but stops when he responds threateningly. Soon, Barb's friend Claire (Lynne Griffin) goes missing from the sorority house, and a local adolescent girl is murdered, leading the girls to suspect a serial killer is on the loose.
"But no one realizes just how near the culprit is."
Audience reviews also refer to the flick as a 'trailblazer slasher', with one saying: "One of only two films in my adult life to have been in any way involved in giving me a sense of genuine fear."
Another adds: "Great horror/slasher film and one of em that started it all! The suspense was brilliant!
"Most [of] the acting was good and the setting and atmosphere was amazingly executed. For horror fans this is a must watch."
And while Black Christmas received fairly mixed reviewed at the time of its release, critics appear to be more complimentary in their retrospective reviews - with Thrillist's Jourdain Searles saying it 'stands as the mother of the modern slasher'.
Film blogger Nick Schager said the movie 'corrodes jolly yuletide cheer with some cruel prank calls, sexual tension and sorority girl slayings'.
He continued: "A head wrapped in a plastic bag, a homicide laced with penetrating coitus imagery, and a horrendous haircut sported by the unbearably overacting Keir Dullea (2001) all contribute to the film’s nastiness, and it’s surprising how much mileage the director gets out of his gore-free set pieces and schizophrenia-plagued killer’s incoherent phone tirades."
Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros