The holiday horror classic Black Christmas will air 24 hours on Christmas Eve, spreading those yuletide chills. When it comes to holiday horror, few films are as dark and disturbing as the 1974 slasher classic. Surprisingly, this dark slasher film was helmed by Bob Clark, the same director who would later bring us the timeless holiday favorite A Christmas Story nine years down the line.
The Canadian production achieved success in its home country after its release in October 1974. However, it did not receive the same level of acclaim at the box office when it arrived in America just a few days before Christmas that year. Warner Bros. distributed the film under the title Silent Night, Evil Night, as seen in the trailer below.
Over the years, this film has gained a cult following and appreciation from horror fans. Credit goes not only to Clark’s skilled direction but also to the exceptional cast. Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, and John Saxon deliver captivating performances in this suspenseful tale. The story revolves around sorority sisters tormented by threatening phone calls during Christmas break. As tension escalates, they become targets of a deranged killer known as “Billy”. Billy’s deeply unnerving voice, portrayed by Nick Mancuso, adds to the chilling atmosphere. Clark himself lent his voice to some of Billy’s calls and portrayed the killer’s shadowy figure glimpsed occasionally.
Black Christmas helped establish a few modern horror tropes. The killer uses the phone (like in Scream and When a Stranger Calls), employs inventive killing methods (prepare to see unicorns differently), and authority figures dismiss women’s concerns, a recurring theme in other horror films. It’s also a major influence on John Carpenter’s Halloween which debuted four years later.
Meanwhile, director Bob Clark became largely a comedy director despite creating a hallmark of horror. Besides his other holiday classic Christmas Story, Clark directed comedies such as Porky’s, Rhinestone, and Baby Geniuses.
How to Watch Black Christmas for 24 hours on Christmas Eve
If you haven’t experienced the bone-chilling delight of Black Christmas or just want to relive the terror (repeatedly), get ready to be merrily spooked! Scream Factory TV, the ultimate platform for all things scary, is treating horror fans to a Christmas Eve marathon of this haunting film.
Grip those candy canes while watching a total of 12 showings of Black Christmas on Sunday, December 24, 2023, from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
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