Movie: "Black Christmas"
Directed by: Bob Clark
Writing credits: Roy Moore
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Plot: Winter break is about to begin when the girls of an unnamed sorority house receive a series of obscene phone calls. At first, they are merely an annoyance, but as the calls grow more disturbing in nature, and as the girls start disappearing one by one, the girls start thinking that the caller might be interested in more than just prank phone calls.
Review: If youíve only seen the remake, you probably arenít expecting much from the original. Certainly the 2006 version of Black Christmas was crap, but the original... well, it was less crap.
Earlier works of horror like The Exorcist terrified audiences when it first came out. Over the years, however, films like it have lost some of their scariness as newer films by different directors have emerged. At least, thatís the explanation Iím sticking with for why Black Christmas didnít seem all that scary to me. The idea of the killer calling up the sorority girls and giving them menacing, obscene phone calls was definitely creepy, but all told, the film as a whole came across that way: more creepy than scary.
The most striking part of the whole movie, though, was the police department. Early in the film, Margot Kidderís character convinces one of the officers that the phone number for the sorority house is ďfellatioĒ. And he writes it down. Later, Saxon and another cop laugh at him, but it turns out that they werenít any smarter. I donít want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasnít seen it yet, but the gist of it is that Saxonís character is told a very important piece of information about the sorority house early in the film, but fails to remember it, even in the face of a rising body count. When he finally does remember, the movie treats this like any other horrifying revelation, even though the audience has known about it for just as long as he has.
And so I thought that there were only two incompetent cops working the campus beat in Black Christmas. Not so. The movie ends with the cops committing an act of such baffling incompetence that you start to wonder if it wasnít the writer trying to squeeze a twist ending out of the story after writing himself into a corner. There was a certain degree of tension in the movie as you waited for more coeds to be picked off, but it was ruined as soon as they asked the audience to believe that an entire department of police officers could be so, so stupid.
For me, it was strange enough to know that the movie was directed by Bob Clark, the same man who directed the equally-memorable (though for very different reasons) ďA Christmas StoryĒ. That bit of information lent an air of comedy to the already laughable Black Christmas. I can only assume the movie was much scarier when it first debuted in theaters, but seeing it for the first time last year, it just seemed cheesy. Even so, let me say once more that youíre still better off seeing this version of Black Christmas than the modern one.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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