Christmas may have come and gone but that doesn’t mean we have to stop watching Christmas horror, right? Of course not! And when it comes to Black Christmas, the best of Christmas horror, well that’s just suitable for any time of the year. So let’s talk Black Christmas!
At the start of winter break, a group of sorority sisters begin to receive obscene phone calls from someone they have dubbed “The Moaner” at their sorority house. The calls are incredibly vulgar and the caller is a grade-A creep. As disturbing as they are the girls don’t think too much of the calls. He’s a pervert, sure, but is he trying to cause them physical harm? They don’t think so.
They’re wrong. Suddenly the girls start being picked off one-by-one and they quickly realize and they soon realize this caller has a lot more on his mind than your standard prank call.
Black Christmas is one of the best and most influential horror films ever made. It essentially created the blueprint for all other slashers to follow. The POV shots from the killer’s perspective that John Carpenter and Dean Cundey made so famous in Halloween where pulled directly from Black Christmas, which predates the Carpenter classic by 4 years. Maybe the most impressive part about the film is that here we are nearly 44 years later and it still holds up. I watch this every year in December, and sometimes in July if I’m having a little Christmas in July fun, and every time I find it to be suspenseful and utterly terrifying. Not many films can recreate the first time viewing reaction on multiple viewings but Black Christmas succeeds every time.
As die-hard horror fanatics, Bloody Disgusting readers are well aware of all this though. I don’t need to tell you about Black Christmas. You’ll likely hold it in high regard much like myself. And if you don’t I will say you’re entitled to your own opinion but I respectfully disagree. What I will tell you about, however, is the new UK Blu-ray release.
The release comes courtesy of 101 Films and was released back in late November. You can currently pick it up on Amazon.uk for about £13. This release is a big deal because it marks the UK debut Blu-ray release of the Bob Clark classic. As an added bonus this UK release is actually region free — so for those in the US, Canada or anywhere else that is region free you can pick this up even if you don’t have a region free player, should you desire to do so. The release comes with 2 discs — 1 Blu-ray and 1 DVD — and features what I believe to be brand-new artwork original to this release, which you can view below.
The transfer used on this UK release is the same one Scream Factory used on their Black Christmas release in 2016 and that’s a good thing. This 2K transfer doesn’t show any signs of being digitally altered, which means we get to avoid that waxy look that often comes with DNR. The picture retains that film quality, providing texture with some imperfections presents, while offering a nice depth of color that pops. The Christmas lights and decorations in particular really stand out. This is easily the best transfer of Black Christmas in existence and I’m glad that 101 went with it.
The 101 Films release also contains 4 featurettes and TV & radio spots for special features. All of these special features were ported over from the Scream Factory release with 2 of them — Film and Furs: Remembering Black Christmas with Art Hindle and Victims and Virgins: Remembering Black Christmas with Lynne Griffin — being features that were specifically produced for the Scream Factory release. The other two featurettes are Black Christmas Legacy, the 40-minute doc from the 2015 Canadian Blu-ray release of the film and the 40th anniversary reunion panel from Fan Expo Canada 2014. There’s a lot of fun bonus context here. I am particularly fond of the Black Christmas Legacy because I think it does a great job pulling in various interview clips to piece together a wonderful backstory to go along with the film. The reunion panel is nice as well because it’s fun to see John Saxon and other cast members reminisce on something they did 40 years prior.
I’m glad 101 Films grabbed and pulled special features from past releases. That’s good. The bad news is that the Scream Factory had a ton more special features that I guess 101 wasn’t able to get their hands on. That’s too bad and dings the overall release a little bit. Despite having less special features this is still a great Blu-ray release of a great film. If you’re in the US or you have a region free player then there’s no need to get this release because the Scream Factory release offers more, but if you’re some place and you happen to be region B locked then this is a great alternative.
Black Christmas is now available on region free Blu-ray from 101 Films.