“If you believe in this spirit thing, the miracle will happen, and then you’ll want it to happen again tomorrow… It can happen every day, you’ve just got to want that feeling.”
– Bill Murray in SCROOGED
That’s right – it’s time to feel the moment and that holiday spirit thing. It’s time for Spoiler Free Review’s 12 days of Christmas 2022 edition! We will be posting our favorite holiday experiences with 12 reviews and illustrations of movies, TV, and music. So sit back, enjoy some spiked eggnog, and enjoy to SFR’s 12-days of Christmas 2022! 🎅
There’s plenty to love and celebrate about the Christmas season, but a plethora of other feelings are involved in the holiday. It isn’t always candy canes and sugar cookies. Christmas can be incredibly sad or nostalgic as well…even scary. The 1974 slasher classic BLACK CHRISTMAS is the perfect example of the dark side of the holiday. It’s more than a slasher film; it’s a surprisingly good screenplay that showcases young women in a way most movies weren’t at the time: with agency and common sense. The film also utilizes alcoholism and abortion at the forefront of its storytelling, not as a cliché but as effective pieces of characterization.
Director Bob Clark (A CHRISTMAS STORY…seriously!) knew he had something special when he began filming. He insisted the studio not change the ending, refusing to tie it up in a neat, simple bow, preferring to keep the audience uncertain about a lot of what they’ve just watched. It works, and it’s scary to this day.
There have been two remakes since this original, each getting worse and worse and proving just what a special and unique piece of horror history this movie is. Released 4 whole years before HALLOWEEN, it’s regarded by many as the first slasher (with films like PSYCHO and PEEPING TOM on the verge of that title) and made use of the murderer’s first-person camera POV long before Michael Myers came in through the back door of the Myers’ house.
The movie is slower-placed than expected, but that works in its favor because, after all the foreboding build-up, the climax has snuck up on you before you know it, just like “Billy” sneaking up on an unsuspecting sorority girl. Oh, and the behind-the-door scene is, to this day, perhaps the most terrifying imagery I’ve ever seen in any horror movie. I watch this every Christmas and always underestimate how scary that iconic moment is.
So snuggle up with some eggnog, grab a plate of gingerbread cookies, and arm yourself with a sturdy fire poker because you’re in for a surprisingly excellent horror film.
BLACK CHRISTMAS is currently streaming on Peacock.