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. Unfortunately, beyond the unique kill scenes and faceless killer, there's not much left to hold onto.
As with most horror movies, the cast is really just here to die creatively. 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. Past that, however, the film falls apart with storytelling and interesting characters. There's barely a plot stringing this film together, which is why it lost me.
Black Christmas will forever be every horror fan's Christmas movie, but it doesn't quite hold up to modern standards. It does do a great job of creating an atmosphere and a memorable killer, but there's no reason for me to care about these girls who are getting killed. A little more investment in story and characters and Black Christmas definitely could've won me over.