It takes a lot of guts to make a horror film for the holidays, and even more guts to make a good one. Black Christmas has since become a staple for horror fans because it has all the right elements of a good horror movie, with a Christmas setting to really mess with you. This film is a pioneer of the slasher subgenre, introducing elements that would inspire horror classics like Halloween and When a Stranger Calls. Its unique kill scenes and faceless killer have really helped keep this film relevant nearly half a century later.
As with most horror movies, the cast is really just here to die creatively, but the performances are still pretty good. The shadowy figure stalking the sorority girls is known only as Billy and his motives or true identity are never revealed. Billy's lack of resolution is equal parts infuriating and brilliant, as it makes the entire film seem like a random instance of mayhem. He remains nameless, like a force of nature. Black Christmas knows exactly what it's doing when it comes to horror, from the chilling score to the first-person shots through Billy's eyes.
Black Christmas will forever be every horror fan's Christmas movie, and it still holds up to modern standards. It does a great job of creating an atmosphere and a memorable killer, and for some inexplicable reason, you find yourself invested in the characters and rooting for them to somehow escape Billy's wrath. Hard to believe this came from the same guy who would give us A Christmas Story nine years later.