What’s on TV Saturday: ‘Black Christmas’ and ‘The Polar Express’

BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) Stream on Tubi and Vudu; Rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and YouTube. Before Bob Clark made “A Christmas Story,” the gift of holiday programming that keeps on giving, he directed this slasher film that has a decidedly deadlier take on the holiday. It follows a group of sorority sisters who start to receive disturbing phone calls at their house as they prepare to head home for the Christmas break. The caller then starts to stalk each of the girls, picking them off one by one in a bloody killing spree. Although A.H. Weiler dismissed the film as “a whodunit that begs the question of why it was made” in his New York Times review, the movie went on to become a horror classic. The film became influential in the genre for its use of first-person camera shots and its decision not to unmask the killer, serving as a flash point for other slasher movies like John Carpenter’s “Halloween.” It has also inspired a few remakes, including a version out in theaters now.

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