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Black Christmas
BLU-RAY disk
12.05.2008 By: Sturdy
Black Christmas order
Director:
Bob Clark

Actors:
Olivia Hussey
Keir Dullea
Margot Kidder

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A group of young sorority sisters are terrorized by a mysterious stalker. When the police get involved, they quickly realize that nothing is as it seems and each girl soon meets her untimely demise.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I really wonder how today’s audiences react to BLACK CHRISTMAS when they see it for the first time. When you first see it, you might think that it’s a cliché ridden, copycat of other horror films. However, if you take time to read up on it, you’ll realize that this isn’t a copycat film, but rather the film that prompted many of our most respected horror directors (Carpenter, Craven, etc.) to copy it. HALLOWEEN, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and virtually every other famous horror film of the 80’s takes something from BLACK CHRISTMAS.

But the problem still remains that by the time you see it now, you’re going to feel like you’ve seen it before. We all know what happens when a crazy killer calls his victims. We’re used to the close-ups on the victims’ faces. We’re used to the dramatic music and screaming at the characters; “don’t go in there”. But when you watch this, take a moment to acknowledge that this was really the film that streamlined those trends in horror movies.

But is it a good movie? It’s okay, but it’s severely dated and you know what’s going to happen before it even gets going. The acting and production quality is average, but the direction is incredibly impressive given what he had to work with. You’ve seen all of his tricks before, but I’d almost say he does them better than any of his successors. Plus, the POV shaky cam was a creative and cool way to intensify the scenes while at the same time giving a mysterious feel to the film. It gives you a claustrophobic feel that definitely creeps you out at times.

For fans of the film, I think you owe it to yourself to check this one out on Blu-ray. I remember catching it on cable many years ago and that transfer was horrible. The DVD was just as bad, to the point the film was almost unwatchable. But they’ve done a relatively nice job with the Blu-ray.
THE EXTRAS
12 Days of Black Christams (19:48): This is a nice featurette that quickly goes over the film from script to the reactions after the film was released. I didn’t know that Nick Mancuso was involved as the killer’s voice on the phone. They also go over how the film has become more of a success 30 years after its release than when it first came out.

Midnight Q&A (20:19): This appears to be a Q&A after a special screening of the film, presumably of the remastered version. The questions are pretty decent and Bob Clark answers them with some good detail. You won’t get anything too juicy, but he does address some questions that a lot of people have about the film.

Interviews with Olivia Hussey, Keith Dullea and Margot Kidder (63:08): Everyone gives a great and candid interview. No one gives the “best movie ever” type of interview you expect from these kind of features. They were honest and open with their lives and their parts in the film. Margot Kidder was especially good in her interview and you can tell she had a lot of stuff to say, but held back. Either way, I enjoyed these interviews.

There are also some Previews and some Hidden Sound Bites which actually change the film a little bit.

There are some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I think newer horror fans will be a little bored with the film given how many times its been imitated since it first came out. Others should appreciate the fact it really was a trendsetter. If you haven’t seen it, then I recommend a rental first.
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