98 minutes – Horror
Release date: October 11, 1974
US release date: December 20, 1974
Canadian distributor: Ambassador Film Distributors
Four years before the film Halloween, the American-born director, Bob Clark, who was a landed immigrant in Canada, began shooting a movie that had a budget of $620,000 and an eight-week schedule. He ended up crafting one of the first contemporary slasher movies to be made. Shot in Toronto, Black Christmas opens at night with a small party occurring in a private school sorority house. We meet all of the girls, but most importantly Jessica, the hero of the film, Barbie, a drunken loud mouth, and Phyllis, a friend of Jessica`s and the peace keeper of the group. Lately they’ve been getting mysterious phonecalls from someone they call “The Moaner”. The calls start out sexual in nature, but they gradually grow more macabre, with the man on the other end saying strange things in different voices. The shyest sorority girl, Claire, goes upstairs to pack and when she enters the closet the killer grabs her and wraps a plastic bag around her head. He then drags her into the attic, where he`s been making his calls. And so the terror begins. Black Christmas was later retitled Stranger in the House for television.