Often forgotten in favour of another Christmas themed slasher from the same year, Bob Clarkes Black Christmas (1974), SNBN is not actually that bad. Its plot is certainly a lot juicier than Black Christmases and the twist was actually a genuine surprise for me. (By the way if you’re going to view this please don’t continue reading)
It begins with a man running out of a house on fire and the viewer is informed that this is Wilfred Butler the owner of the house. Years the later the house is to be sold and the town’s people are desperate to buy it. Soon enough bodies begin turning up and a mystery that spans years begins to rear its ugly head...
It sounds like pretty average stuff but there’s enough twists and turns to keep you interested and every time you think you’ve finally worked out who the murderer is there’s another twist and your kept guessing again. A fact that is presented to begin with as almost nothing to do with the plot later becomes the main part of the story and the reason for the murders.
The film also creates an immensely spooky atmosphere with the house becoming a large black shadow over the lives of every character in the movie and affecting them in its own way. The scene in which a lunatic breaks out of an asylum reminded me of a similar scene in Halloween (1978) and it was amusing to see that despite popular opinion, here is another film that uses killer POV camera angles before Black Christmas (this was filmed in 1972 but released in 1974).
There are of course bad points, for a start this was filmed for the drive in market so the acting is not great to say the least. The victims are not your usual slasher fare but some are fairly pointless so that you don’t care about them at all. It’s great to see John Carradine in something a little bit darker and serious than were used to seeing him in, even if he doesn’t utter a word (his croaky lines were dubbed in afterwards)
My other moan however is not the films fault at all but rather the people who released the DVD, the print is terrible. In almost every review I’ve read someone has a moan somewhere about the print and if the one they watched was as bad as the one I watched then who can blame them? I have no idea what happened to John Carradines character purely because it was too dark and fuzzy to see anything!
GORE: a bit of blood and one particularly nasty scene with a broken glass
NUDITY: not anything gratuitous but a little bit
OVERALL RATING: 6/10 good but personally i prefer Black Christmas, If you like Grindhouse though this is for you
Welcome one and all- Please leave sanity at the door
A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.firstname.lastname@example.org. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.