The First Slasher?

Bob Clark’s Black Christmas may be one of the most influential and brilliant horror films ever made. Released in 1974, the horror thriller starring Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey set the stage for countless slashers to follow including more well-known films such as the original Halloween. Brilliantly crafted for maximum terror, a prank caller terrorizes a helpless sorority as murder victims begin piling up around campus on the eve of Christmas vacation.

The college town of Bedford is preparing for the holiday when tragedy strikes the quaint place. As the residents of sorority house Pi Kappa Sigma begin celebrating the festive season, a stranger stalks their home. First taken as a joke by the girls, a series of disturbing phone calls from an eerie-sounding psychopath start frightening the sorority sisters (among them Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder). When dead bodies start popping up, the police are baffled attempting to trace the killer’s calls.

Truly a classic, Black Christmas remains one of the most effective and devastating terror films ever made

Black Christmas hooks viewers early and keeps audiences on the edge of their seats with spine-chilling suspense. Bob Clark, almost by himself, comes up with the perfect template for a thrilling slasher with efficient storytelling and riveting characters. Told through the vantage of Olivia Hussey’s character, a sympathetic protagonist going through real problems of her own, she soon realizes a dangerous killer is on the prowl and targeting the sorority.

The perfectly crafted story wouldn’t be so fondly remembered if not for the movie’s impressively sinister direction in what most consider a safe and welcoming setting, a loud sorority house right before Christmas filled with outgoing and perky co-eds. That juxtaposition heightens the ongoing conflict and mystery, aided by a superb cast of acting stalwarts and former stars like Olivia Hussey somewhat slumming in genre fare.

Truly a classic, Black Christmas remains one of the most effective and devastating terror films ever made. Setting the mold for every slasher to follow, every twisted element pulls together working in harmony for intense seasonal frights and the creation of cinema’s first unique slasher villain. Hopefully you never receive a call from Billy…

Black Christmas (1974) 4K UHD screen shot


A new 4K scan of the original camera negative was struck in 2022 and the results are undeniably spectacular – Black Christmas looks better than it has any right to in wonderful 2160p resolution on UHD. The 1.85:1 presentation precisely preserves the original aspect ratio in rich HDR10 and Dolby Vision flavors, succinctly capturing the essence of the 35mm negative with a keen appreciation of its cinematic roots. The video quality is astonishing for the 1974 Canadian production, transparently replicating the original exposure levels and gritty detail from grainy celluloid.

The darkly rich palette set at Christmas lights up in Dolby Vision, taking full advantage of the enhanced tonality and dynamic range. Definition is crisp with enticing depth, a fully film-like reproduction of its heavy shadows and earthier hues. Deep black levels help the vibrant colors further pop without veering from the filmmakers’ intended atmosphere.

Given the gorgeous level of fine detail in the primarily sharp 4K presentation and the meticulous color correction, it’s tough believing Black Christmas could ever look better. The main feature runs an uncut 98 minutes, encoded in flawless HEVC on a triple-layer UHD all by itself.

Scream Factory has outdone themselves, serving up one of their strongest 4K transfers. The leap in picture quality over preceding Blu-rays, including Scream Factory’s own BD, is immediately obvious and substantial. Film elements are in beautiful condition given the thriller’s age and film stock pedigree, looking natural and authentic in splendid 12-bit Dolby Vision.

My highest videophile recommendation possible, every slasher fan has to see this 4K effort in person.


The audio has been completely revamped in both mono and 5.1 surround for a dramatic sonic improvement over preceding Black Christmas releases. The faithfully remastered 2.0 DTS-HD MA in mono and updated 5.1 DTS-HD MA are how this genre masterpiece should be experienced. Technicians have completely restored all dialogue and missing sound effects for much healthier sound quality than ever before. Substantial improvements in dialogue fidelity and musical dynamics turn what was a so-so soundtrack into a frightening showstopper.

Carl Zittrer’s moody score is punchy with excellent depth, nicely spread across the soundstage. Audio effects play a key role in the terror as Billy prank calls his helpless victims, heard in brilliant voice acting with crystal-clear detail. Ingenious sound design for 1974 brings full-bodied clarity with a powerful presence.

They’ve somehow wrenched more bottom end from what had been a thin recording. I’d suggest the newly restored monaural soundtrack is your best bet but there’s enough activity in the surround mix for home theater enthusiasts.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font.


Known for their service beyond the call of duty for a wide range of genre films, Scream Factory serves up the ultimate collector’s edition on UHD in this spectacular three-disc set (1 UHD & 2 BD). Likely the horror label’s best-ever release, this is the definitive and final word on Black Christmas for home video. Easily one of the format’s most essential purchases if you enjoy thrillers and horror.

Amazing A/V improvements aside, there are four different commentaries on the UHD alone not to mention an entire Blu-ray filled with featurettes, archival interviews, and multiple documentaries. It should warm the heart of any slasher fan beyond their wildest dreams. The special features are pulled from Scream Factory’s earlier 2016 Blu-ray collector’s edition, though disc two includes the new and improved 2022 transfer.

There are no special features found on the UHD besides the commentaries. The two Blu-rays are coded for Region A. A cardboard slipcover is available. Early pressings from came with a poster which are now sold out.

BLU-RAY Disc 2:

Audio Commentary With Director Bob Clark
Audio Commentary With Actors John Saxon And Keir Dullea
Audio Commentary With Billy (Actor Nick Mancuso)
Audio Interview With Director Bob Clark
Black Christmas: Restoring the Sound Featurette (08:05 in HD) – A new bonus with Brett Cameron discussing the massive restoration effort
Newsprint Ad Gallery by Drive-In Asylum (03:28 in HD) – Another new bonus

BLU-RAY Disc 3:

2006 Critical Mass Black Christmas HD Master (5.1 Dolby Digital; 1.78:1) – A presentation of the 2006 remaster

Film And Furs (26:11 in SD) – Remembering Black Christmas With Art Hindle Interview

Victims And Virgins (26:35 in SD) – Remembering Black Christmas With Lynne Griffin Interview

Black Christmas Legacy (40:22 in SD) – Archival documentary discusses the movie’s lasting impact

40th Anniversary Panel At FanExpo 2014 (18:02 in HD) – Featuring John Saxon, Art Hindle, Lynne Griffin & Nick Mancuso

On Screen!: Black Christmas Documentary (48:41 in SD) – Archival program delving into the film’s unique properties

12 Days Of Black Christmas Featurette (19:48 in SD) – Examines the important characters

Black Christmas Revisited Documentary (36:25 in SD) Major participation from the crew dissect the production

Archival Interviews With Olivia Hussey, Art Hindle, Margot Kidder, Bob Clark, & John Saxon (101:30 in SD)

Lengthy interviews with each key person about their character or role behind the scenes

Midnight Screening Q&A With Bob Clark, John Saxon And Carl Zittrer (20:21 in SD) – A 2004 session answering questions

Two Scenes With A New Vocal Soundtrack (03:04 in SD) – New audio discovered the original surround mixing are added back to their scenes

Original Black Christmas Theatrical Trailers in English and French (08:16 in HD)

Original TV And Radio Spots (03:09 in SD)

Alternative Title Sequences (02:47 in SD)

Still Gallery (04:33 in HD) – Promotional images for the film

Full disclosure: This UHD was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected our editorial process. For further information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s About Us page.

Black Christmas (1974)
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


One of the 1970’s most seminal horror films, Bob Clark’s taut masterpiece set the stage for John Carpenter’s Halloween and countless other slashers

User Review
4 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 42 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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