It’s about time the world has caught up with “Black Christmas” and (thanks to Shout!) given it the proper treatment it’s always deserved. What is arguably one of the first slasher films ever made was always out of print and hard to find while “Halloween” was granted various editions of VHS, and DVD. While “Halloween” is a masterpiece, “Black Christmas” is far more superior. It works as a slasher film, a mystery, a dark comedy, and is genuinely spine tingling in a movie draped in Christmas ephemera. It’s surprising since the tone for “Black Christmas” is almost the same tone from his other Christmas classic “A Christmas Story.” Yet director Bob Clark really never misses a beat, offering up a very scary tale about an inexplicable maniac wreaking havoc on a small neighborhood during the holidays.
We never did find out who Billy was, did we? Was he a disgruntled ex-boyfriend? A humiliated crush? Or perhaps just a lunatic who drifted into the sorority house one night before Christmas? It’s always more frightening to be left with questions, isn’t it? Why do killers always have to have a motive or connection to the characters? Do real murderers always make sense? From the first frame director Bob Clark leads us through a labyrinth of absolute red herrings advising us to pay attention, notice the clues, and really focus in on where he’s going with “Black Christmas.” For years I heard many people trying to figure out who Billy is and what his intent was toward this group of young women in their sorority house one Christmas. How is able to get in and out without notice? How is he able to sneak back and forth in this house without being seen?