Black Christmas (1974) (Season’s Grievings Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Bob Clark
Starring: Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder Olivia Hussey
Rated: 18A/Region A/1:78/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada on November 24th (Also available on EST/VOD iTunes, xbox and Google Play now)
It’s time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don’t express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem?
I’m sad to report that I can’t take screen caps of this new Black Christmas Blu-ray, but I can confirm two things. One is that this does indeed have English subtitles and yes, this is a different transfer than the Critical Mass release. I’m still not sure it looks THAT much different from before regardless. You notice really quick this isn’t the same as before, because we see more white specks popping up during the very first opening credits card that pops up at the start and during the first Billy POV shot you can clearly see a border and a bit of a flair in the bottom corner, where as in the last one that was stretched to where you couldn’t see that. I think we do get more detail in spots, but there is still a whole lot of grain you can see caked up in the film. Maybe they just re-scanned it and didn’t try to clean anything up? I’m not sure, but overall it still becomes a better release than the last one based off extras alone I think. So, if you are thinking of getting this one and you don’t live in Canada, then I’d say go for it, because you won’t be getting the same as before regardless. Now, how about the movie? Well, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about it? This is a classic and one of two Bob Clark movies I watch every Christmas. The story of “Black Christmas” takes us to a female sorority house as we approach Christmas. The girls of the sorority have been getting some rather odd and x-rated prank phone calls and when girls come up missing someone finally starts to get worried, and rightfully so.
One familiar face you may notice in this film (besides John Saxon who plays Lieutenant Kenneth Fuller) is none other than Olivia Hussey who takes the lead female role in this movie playing Jessica Bradford, and she does a great job at it. Matter fact, I can’t really find a bad actor in this film. Even people who have sorta bland parts fit their roles so well that you hardly notice. This is a rare case of characters actually coming across as real people, which is hard to find. One key filming technique you’ll also notice in this film is the first person point of view. As we at times see through the eyes of the movie’s killer. A style that while I’m sure this movie wasn’t the first to do, it is a style that would later be used in Halloween and many, many more horror films. It probably is the actual film most movies that came after got it from if we are to be honest. The whole style of this film is simple yet effective. There isn’t really any bright colors or fancy setting, even with the Christmas theme. Just a grim feeling and an even grimmer house. which helps a lot with the over tone of the movie. The movie isn’t full of blood, but like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, most people seem to remember it being more graphic than it is. I also love the ending to this. Some might not dig that if they haven’t seen it, but I always thought the less being resolved in a movie can sometimes make the all the more spooky and thought-provoking. That can work and go against movies, but this one is works perfectly. Overall, this is a great and legit scary horror film and one you should be watching every year for Christmas.
– Black Christmas Legacy: New Documentary
– 40th Anniversary Panel at Fan Expo 2015 featuring John Saxon, Art Hindle, Lynne Griffin & Nick Mancuso
– Commentary Track – Billy Is Watching (Nick Mancuso as Billy)
– Exclusive to Blu-Ray: Black Christmas Retrospective Booklet created by Rue Morgue Magazine
– Gallery of Original Black Christmas Promotional Material
– Original Script with Handwritten Notes (BD-ROM Feature)
– All Previously Released Extras Also Included
Quality of Transfer: 79%