Sunday, February 6, 2011

Halloween vs Black Christmas

IIIIN this corner, we have Halloween. A film that single handedly gave the Slasher genre new life. A film whose revolutionary techniques inspired Slashers for years to come! A film with 7 sequels (or is it 8?) a remake and soon to be 2 sequels to the remake. It is also (adjusted for inflation) The highest grossing independent film in history!!!!

In this corner we have a small Canadian slasher film made 4 years before Halloween. few have really heard of it except Steve Martin. it only got a petty remake (A really pathetic remake on every level). it's the underdog in the fight.


Everyone knows that Halloween started the Second Age of the Slasher Film. It did it so incredibly well that the National Film Registry added it to their ranks. it was, and in some aspects still is, an incredible film. Everything that slasher films did until (and even sometimes into) the Third Age (The Scream age) was inspired by Halloween.

However, Halloween borrowed off of a few films. We all know that it was inspired heavily by Psycho. But, there are a lot of new advancements that the film still made. However, another film made them first. I'm not talking about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'm talking about Black Christmas. Yes Texas Chainsaw Massacre did come out 10 days (in canada) before Black Christmas. But in terms of style I feel that Black Christmas/Halloween are different from TCM. Here are a few things that are credited with Halloween that Black Christmas did first.

Killer POV: yeah. while the shots from Billy's perspective might not have been as long (wait scratch that, they both had a whole opening sequence from their POV's) He even had more POV killer shots than Michael. even while killing if I remember right.

First real holiday slasher: Black CHRISTMAS. it's set around christmastime. That makes it a holiday slasher.

There are a few things that Black Christmas does even better than Halloween. (this is opinion but I believe I make a good case here).


1. You don't know who the killer is. It's like Psycho. You don't even catch more than a few glimpses of him throughout the film. An eyeball here, a shadow there, It's much more effective at scaring you. it creeped me out (I also saw it at midnight). He's human but inhuman at the same time. He talks but isn't annoying like Freddy and he's an enigmatic guy. Michael Kills to kill and we know it's Michael the whole time. Billy...who knows about Billy (we're ignoring remakes here. They are not canon to me. They have nothing to do with the original characters. Billy is still an enigmatic figure with no back story especially not the one the remake gives. same for Michael).

This is Michael. say hello Michael...he's shy he doesn't talk much...or at all...

And this is Billy...maybe...Wait who's Agnes?

2. The characters: Yeah you still know right off who's going to die once you figure out who the final girl is. That's an unavoidable part of the genre really. But you care a whole lot more when someone dies. That's because the characters aren't cardboard cutouts waiting to be killed. They're still waiting to be killed but they are interesting to watch until then. They have a substance to them that characters in Halloween don't. As for the final girl herself, it matters much more if she dies in this one than in Halloween. The repercussions are a lot more dire. They're a lot more human. they're relatable. Even Laurie in Halloween is a hard character to relate to. There isn't much we are given that we can relate to.

Here's some of the cast of Black Christmas. Try and guess which one is the Final Girl. Bonus points if you guess her accent and heritage. Just try. I dare you
A few cast members of Halloween. Don't even try to guess the final girl. If they lumped every single other character from every single other slasher into this picture you'd still know who the final girl in this film was. We all do.

Plot: eeh, it's really the same plot only substitute regular house for sorority house and remove the identity of the killer and yeah, same thing really.

The Meyers House: The setting of Halloween (or at least where all of the big stuff goes least that's what Dr. Loomis guessed)

The Phi Kappa Sigma sorority house. This is where it ALL goes down.

Do you see what I'm getting at? since it's 2:00 A.M. here I'm sure that A. This isn't a fully coherent blog and B. I'm missing something. I'll probably edit it later.

But I feel that Black Christmas should get a lot of the credit Halloween got. Yes I know that Halloween is the one that made it all big but Black Christmas was an incredibly similar film and it did all of those things first. Black Christmas was a much better film IMO and it deserves much more praise and recognition than it got. The only really major thing that Halloween did first was Jamie Lee Curtis. But yeah, It should be the Black Christmas Age, not the Halloween Age.

As a final note...

He's pretty awesome in his role here in A Nightmare on Elm Street oh and look...

Here he is in Black Christmas (In the exact same role might I add. His name is Lt. Fuller instead of Lt. Thompson)

Oh, and don't even get me started on When A Stranger Calls (THE CALLS ARE COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!)

So do you think Black Christmas might win this one?

Maybe it's irrelavant because this film preceded them both


  1. Nice work Lord,

    I actually haven't seen either of these films, so I can't really comment, but I admit they do seem similar...

  2. Very similar. And Halloween came out later and got all of the credit.

  3. Nice post Naseby. I haven't seen Black Christmas yet but I intend to. If its as good as Halloween then I'll like it :)