Black Christmas (1974)

1h 38m / R / Horror

Movies used to just start, didn’t they? Black Christmas (also sometimes known as Silent Night, Deadly Night or Stranger in the House, and there’s your plot summary) takes only the length of its opening credits before it’s right in your face with shocking violence and one of cinema’s all-time most horrific obscene phone calls. Happy holidays! This innovative piece of fear-media stars Margot Kidder (the best celluloid Lois Lane), Olivia Hussey (Franco Zeffirelli’s Juliet; she took the role because a psychic told her to), and an extremely effective murderer with Mike Patton vocal stylings. Black Christmas is recognized as one of the first true slasher movies. In fact, Halloween likely only exists because director Bob Clark once told John Carpenter his idea for a Black Christmas sequel: it would be set the next year, the killer would have escaped from a mental institution and returned to the original sorority house, and the murders would start again. And it would take place on Halloween. QED.