‘Black Christmas’: How to Watch the Original 1974 Holiday Horror Movie

The holidays are about to get bloody. In Black Christmas, which opens Friday, Dec. 13, a group of sorority girls are getting ready for winter break, when they start receiving threatening text messages. Soon, a mysterious killer (or killers) is picking them off, one by one. 

‘Black Christmas’ 2019: A feminist take on the horror genre

Black Christmas, which is directed by Sophia Takal, is a remake of a 1974 film of the same name. Takal (along with co-writer April Wolfe) has updated the original story to give her film an explicitly feminist bent. The sorority girls in 2019’s Black Christmas are fighting against rape culture, racism, and toxic masculinity. The heroine is suffering from PTSD after having been raped by a frat boy, while another character has fought to remove a bust of their college’s racist founder.  

While Takal’s film is a horror movie for the #MeToo era, the original is a cult classic and an early example of the slasher genre that influenced movies like John Carpenter’s Halloween. If you’re interested in comparing the two (or just want to check out the first film), you’re in luck. The original Black Christmas is streaming for free.

Where to watch the 1974 ‘Black Christmas’ 

You have several options if you want to stream the 1974 Black Christmas, which was directed by Bob Clark — who went on to direct the much more family-friendly classic A Christmas Story — and stars Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder. 

The movie is available for free (with ads) on both Tubi and Vudu. Shudder and Shout Factory TV subscribers can also stream Black Christmas. It’s also available to rent on Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, and iTunes. 

Other holiday horror movies to stream 

While Black Christmas might have helped set the template for holiday horror movies, it’s far from the only scary flick set during the holiday season. 

Black Christmas was actually preceded by 1972’s Silent Night, Bloody Night, where a killer stalks his prey on Christmas Eve in a mansion that was once an insane asylum. The movie’s cast includes a number of Andy Warhol collaborators, including Mary Woronov and Candy Darling. It’s streaming for free on Amazon Prime. 

In the similarly named Silent Night, Deadly Night, the killer wears a Santa suit. You can rent the 1984 cult classic on iTunes and Vudu.  

Gizmo in Gremlins
Gremlins | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can stream several Christmasy horror movies, including Elves, a 2018 movie about (you guessed it) killer elves and 2019’s Holiday Hell. 1997’s Jack Frost (not the 1998 Michael Keaton movie of the same name), which features a killer snowman, is available for free on Tubi and Vudu.   

2015’s Krampus is based on a figure from European folklore who terrorizes children who’ve behaved badly. It’s available to rent on Amazon and other streaming services. So are 2018’s Anna and the Apocalypse, a zombie Christmas movie and, of course, 1984’s Gremlins, where an adorable Christmas gift inadvertently causes havoc in a small town Christmastime. 

Read more: How ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Became the Darkest Christmas Movie of All Time

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