If nothing else, 2022 is the year I overcame my aversion to scary movies. Although I still wouldn’t call myself a “fan”, I’ve nevertheless grown to appreciate vintage horror for its humor, style, and great practical effects. So rather than watch the newer iterations of this week’s Black Christmas (Disc/Download), I’m going back to the original slasher flick of 1974.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “The call is coming from inside the house,” well then, you can thank Black Christmas for putting it into the lexicon. This Canadian film starring Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder is like a vintage Scream, with gaudy lights, shag carpeting, and a lot of booze. Just before Christmas break, a serial killer targets a sorority house, making obscene phone calls, watching and waiting to make his move. There are several long, tense sequences of the killer stalking his prey, followed by murder scenarios that are thematically pretty gruesome, if not visually. Overall, I enjoyed this movie immensely because it’s just so weird and funny in moments where one would expect the opposite. I’m not going to have nightmares of a dead sorority girl covered in plastic, holding a creepy baby doll; I’m going to have nightmares about her patterned curtains.
One of the best things about Black Christmas is house mother Mrs. MacHenry, or “Mrs. Mac” to her friends. She’s got all kinds of exciting hiding places for her liquor, including hollowed out books and a toilet tank! Let’s give a proper toast to the woman who’s always “hanging around”, or better yet, make it a eulogy. While watching Black Christmas, I recommend drinking this Macintosh apple riff on a Dark & Stormy- a Mac Attack.
1 1/2 oz Largo Bay Apple Spiced Rum
1 oz Apple Cider
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
Dried lemon slice
Combine rum, apple cider, lemon juice, and bitters in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Top with ginger beer, and a dried lemon slice.
I applaud a film that keeps me guessing, and Black Christmas managed to surprise me right through to the end. Sure, there were plenty of moments where I yelled at the dumb girl on the screen, but the truth is, none of us can predict how we’d react in scary situations. I like to think I wouldn’t move closer to the closet where I’d just heard a strange noise; that I would instead run away like a normal human with a shred of self-preservation instincts, but who knows? All I’ll say is, if I go missing, check the attic. Cheers!