Black Christmas ★★★★★

This was probably my seventh time through this movie, and every single time my stomach is just tied in knots at the end. I get so afraid for these girls. For me Black Christmas is a massive success because it so ably commingles dread and femininity, especially mature (sexual) femininity, on multiple levels. There are the crude posters and casual silliness of youth, and Barb's bawdiness (itself a way to mask her adult anxieties), but all of it comes to a very serious head with Jess' abortion issue. Her centerpiece monologue about her right to pursue her dreams and ambitions on her own terms is also the spiritual battleground on which she and the killer meet. What those dreams are doesn't matter - we never learn, which is perhaps for the best, as it limits the ways in which the audience can judge Jess. The movie asserts that she deserves a choice no matter what, and that she will fight for it at any cost.

Olivia Hussey is wonderful as an unclassifiable, temperate, slightly weird final girl, one of the harder permutations to pull off. The supporting performances are fun and rich too. Sound design is absolute aces, overloud foley and all. Looks great. Even the comic relief is funny. It might play a little stiff in the beginning for some people, but in my eyes, it's all love.

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