Black Christmas ★★★★½

Rewatched a classic Bob Clark Christmas movie. No, not the one with Ralphie and a BB gun, but does have a scene with an eye you kind of wish would be shot out.

(spoilers below)

No matter how many times I see Black Christmas (1974), it never fails to completely creep me out. Maybe the best use of atmosphere in a horror film, with the unnerving calm of the dead of winter. Even in it's lighthearted moments, the eeriness and sense of dread never lets up. It also helps that they crafted interesting characters that you actually care about to some degree, so you feel more invested when the bad things start happening to him. Olivia Hussey does a good job creating a likeable, intelligent, 3-dimensional heroine in Jess, setting her apart from the usual final girl trope. Margot Kidder is clearly having a ball as the wisecracking lush Barb, and Marian Waldman is also a hoot as naughty housemother Mrs. Mac. And Keir Dullea is effectively creepy enough to work as the decoy suspect.

And then, there is "Billy". From his ability to sneak around the house without being seen or heard, to his almost inhuman obscene phone calls, and of course, the eye, this is one of the great horror movie psychopaths. And it's much better that you never learn his identity or backstory or motives (something the 2006 remake failed at).

This movie contains so many inventive moments, such as the first victim sitting in front of the attic window the entire movie and the cross cutting between the Christmas carolers and Barb's violent death. Just a wonderfully wicked, spooky horror classic.