BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)
The most terrifying and influential thing to come out of the Canadian film scene since William Shatner, “Black Christmas” is commonly considered one of the first “slasher” films. All the major criteria like POV shots from a mysterious killer’s perspective, a remote house full of nubile victims, and (duh) slashing were all big parts of “Black Christmas,” although to modern viewers it may seem oddly tame with its single-digit body count and shocking lack of nudity. A success in Canada (it was actually based in part on a series of Christmastime murders in Quebec), it flopped in America, where it was lamely retitled “Silent Night, Evil Night” after producers worried that potential audiences would dismiss it as yet another blaxploitation film. American reviews at the time concentrated on the gore and the alleged misogyny (the Christmas tie-in didn’t help either) but modern critics consider it an overlooked cult classic and a triumph of atmospheric '70s horror.