Film and action summary

An unwelcome guest arrives in the university town of Bedford at Christmas time. While the residents of the Pi Kappa Sigma Women’s House are preparing for Christmas, a stranger walks through the house. Which begins when a series of obscene phone calls turns into a psychopathic obsession. One by one members of the house are murdered, and although the police try to trace the calls, they find that things are now what they seem to be on this black Christmas.

Film Black Christmas Abstract

Below you will find an overview of the spoilers.

Black Christmas begins from the perspective of an unknown man climbing the fence of the Pi Kappa Sigma sorority house while the girls have a Christmas party on the Bedford campus. Three floors up, one person enters the building through the attic.

A house visit follows, to which Jess (Olivia Hussey) responds. On the other hand, there’s an immoral caller who’s already called her. The other girls of the house gather to listen to the disturbed man on the phone with strange voices. Barb (Margot Kidder) grabs Jess’ phone and insults the caller. In return, he promises to kill her.

Barb is a little tipsy and insults a young student named Claire Harrison (Lynn Griffin) when Claire suggests that the caller could be dangerous. Exhausted, Claire goes back to her room to finish packing for the Christmas holidays. The intruder has already left the loft and is in Claire’s closet. When she enters, he strangles her with a plastic garment bag and carries her body to the attic.

The next morning Claire’s father (James Edmond) arrives at school to pick up his daughter. If she doesn’t show up at the rendezvous point, he gets a little worried. When he finds their brotherhood house, Mrs. Mack (Marian Waldman), the housewife of the student union, is that Claire didn’t come, but is a little tipsy herself.

Elsewhere on campus, Jess meets her boyfriend Peter (Keir Dullea) and tells him that she is pregnant with his child. When she tells him she wants an abortion, Peter panics and they agree to discuss it later that night.

Back at the dorm, Jess gets another obscene phone call. But it’s livelier when the killer speaks with different voices. He also speaks to Agnes and Billy as if the two adults were talking to them. It adds to Jess’ misery about her pregnancy.

In the meantime, Mr. Harrison with Barb and Phil (Andrea Martin) at the police station and reports Claire as missing. But the incompetent officer, Sergeant Nash (Doug McGrath), fired her; he believes Claire just ran off with her boyfriend. At the same time Peter is at an audition where his anger takes over and he fails miserably.

Back at the sorority, ma’am. Mack Jess that Claire disappeared, finds Claire’s boyfriend, Chris (Art Hindle), at her hockey practice. When she tells him about Claire’s sudden disappearance and the police do nothing, he takes her to the police station. He called in the help of Lieutenant Ken Fuller (John Saxon), whom he knew. Fuller agreed to investigate the case, especially after he learned that a 15-year-old girl went missing that day on her way home from school.

Back at the sorority, Barb’s a white girl having dinner with the lady. Mack, Phil and Mr. Harrison are drunk. She starts ranting about how everyone thinks it’s her fault Claire disappeared, making Phil angry. She tells Barb to go to bed… what she does.

Then Chris and Jess come with the news that a young girl is wanted, and they, together with Mr. Harrison and Phil, help find a nearby park where she has disappeared. After leaving the house, Mrs. Mack goes to her sister’s house, but the killer starts making cat noises in the attic. On her way there, she discovers Claire’s body. The killer throws a crane hook in her face, pierces and kills her.

The police find the mutilated body of a young girl in the park, so Jess goes home while the other continues his search for Claire. The phone rings again and Jess gets another obscene phone call. This time she’ll call the police right away. While talking to Sergeant Nash, Peter appears from behind and frightens her. Apparently he took a nap in her room until she came home. Once again, Sergeant Nash rejects the call for help. However, Lieutenant Fuller hears this and reprimands him angrily for not taking the case seriously given the circumstances.

Back at the dorm, Peter told them he was leaving school and they wanted to get married. Jess refuses and stands by her decision to have an abortion. Peter is on the edge of his seat when Lieutenant Fuller arrives with a man eavesdropping on their phone so he can trace the calls.

After the police leave, the killer enters Barb’s room and kills her with a glass unicorn while Jess sings carols at the front door. Another obscene phone call puts an end to this happy moment, but this time the caller repeats some of what Peter said during their argument; raising suspicion that Peter is somehow involved.

Lieutenant Fuller immediately calls Jess to tell her that the call was too short to follow up and asks her to see if she can stay on the line longer. Now he starts asking about Peter, who thinks he’s a suspect, but Jess thinks he’s not. Moments later, when Phil goes to Barb’s room, the killer kills her, too.

Jess immediately gets another obscene phone call about Agnes and Billy. It’s long enough for the phone company to trace it, and it’s from Mack’s private line upstairs. Fuller asked Sergeant Nash to call Jess and tell her to leave the house immediately because she was five minutes away.

Instead, Jess goes upstairs looking for Barb and Phil, not knowing they’re already dead. She grabs the fireplace poker for protection before she goes upstairs. When she discovers the bodies of Barb and Phil, the killer appears before her. He chases Jess through the house, but Jess manages to reach the basement where she closes the door behind her.

The killer furiously tries to break down the door, but eventually gives up. Jess hears footsteps that make her feel like she’s been left at the door. Reluctantly, she stops. Suddenly a face looks out of one of the cellar windows. It’s Peter. But when he calls her by name, she ignores him. Peter smashes a window and goes into the basement. Then he asks her: What’s going on, Jess? He’s getting closer slowly.

Fuller’s on his way in with some other agents in tow. They find a patrol officer who kept a dead dormitory in his car. Jess’ screams from inside pierce the night sky and the police come in. When they reach the basement, they find Jess and Peter in a pile together. Jess is alive, but Peter is dead because of Jess’ apparent scratch.

They take Jess upstairs to her room where the doctor gives her a sedative. With Fuller unable to interrogate them, he’s assuming Peter was the killer and the case is closed. This news comes as a shock to Mr. Garrison, the doctor Mr. Garrison at the hospital. Chris and the police also go outside and leave Jess unconscious and alone with the guard outside the house.

As soon as they’re gone, you can hear the attic door open from the quiet house. Claire and Mrs. Mack’s bodies go unnoticed there. The killer comes from the attic and mumbles: Agnes, it’s Billy!

While the camera slowly moves away from the house, the lonely policeman on the porch takes a puff of his cigarette. The phone starts ringing, like after every murder so far.

Additional information about the film

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