It’s rare to find a Christmas movie based on true events, and just as rare to find a horror movie based on true events. But a Christmas-slash-horror movie loosely based on real events? That’s something you don’t see every day and Black Christmas is the answer to that. Based on the 1974 movie of the same name (and then the 2006 remake of that) both stories are based on real murders that happened around the holiday season. But, additionally, the movie’s also based on an urban legend so do with that what you will.
The story of Black Christmas (both the original and the remake), revolves around a group of sorority girls who are slowly one-by-one murdered just before the holiday season. But, spoiler already for the brand new 2019 edition, this time the girls aren’t going to let themselves be victimized and begin to fight back against their assailants.
While this story is certainly something we’ve seen before in movies, the combination of Christmas, slasher, and urban legend isn’t something that comes around a whole lot.
According to the movie’s original screenwriter, A. Roy Moore, he based the story off of the urban legend of “the babysitter and the man upstairs.” This is definitely a story you’ve come across before, as it’s been adapted throughout dozens of different movies — an unidentified caller phones the house in order to scare the occupants inside. In this original legend, while babysitting, the sitter receives a phone call telling her to “check on the children.” Once she does so, she either discovers that the children have been murdered, or she’s lured upstairs to be killed herself.
The original story of Black Christmas takes this and switches it up a bit. In the new film, a sorority house receives suspicious phone calls like this that continue on as the women in the house are slowly murdered.
Additionally, Moore based the story off of a string of murders in the Westmount area of Montreal, committed by serial killer Wayne Boden. Not many similarities were lifted from Boden’s murders and the story we see in the fictionalized movie, but he supposedly killed five women between 1969 and 1971, earning the nickname The Vampire Rapist because he would bite his victims.
Thankfully, that didn’t make it into the first Black Christmas or the second and third one.