Alternate titles : Silent Night - Evil Night, Stranger in the House.

Tagline : "If this movie doesn't make your skin crawl... It's On Too Tight!"

Black Christmas (1974)Whilst some people may cite John Carpenter's 1978 film "Halloween" as being responsible for kick starting the Hollywood trend of turning every public holiday, along with other memorable date on the calendar, into a horror film, the first example of a ‘Holiday Horror’ movie actually came several years previous, with this 1974 film by Bob Clark.

Set on a college campus, the girls of a sorority house find themselves being menaced by a killer who, unbeknown to them, is actually hiding in the house during the Xmas period. It starts off with obscene phone calls, then members of the house start to go missing with alarming regularity.

Margot Kidder (who went on to play Lois Lane in “Superman”) and Olivia Hussey (who also appeared in “Turkey Shoot” and “Psycho 4”) play a couple of the lead sorority sisters, who find themselves at the mercy of this unseen assailant, whilst horror stalwart John Saxon turns up as a police detective.

Containing many of the ingredients that would go on to become a staple of many modern day horror films, ie the killer lurking in the shadows, getting knocked down, then coming back for more, it's interesting to note that this was one of the films, along with the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" which was released in the same year, that inspired John Carpenter to write "Halloween".

Whilst the film may look a little dated now and is perhaps a bit slow by today's standards, it is never-the-less an entertaining seasonal slasher and makes for a lot more entertaining viewing than the usual festive fair to be found on TV over the Xmas period.

Overall Marks : 5/10.

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