Women in Horror Month: Olivia Hussey (Black Christmas)

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A large quantity of slasher fans will say that 1981 was the best year for horror but I believe that 1974 is right up there with it. With the release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, an immortal classic, some could say it’s the year that started it all. But, released the same year and sadly overlooked at the time, was Bob Clark’s Black Christmas. The film that some say laid out the groundwork for films to come later such as Halloween and Friday the 13th.

By far my favorite thing about the film is the leading lady, Jess, who breaks all the typical “final girl rules” (which, at the time, were not established) played by the beautiful Olivia Hussey. Jess is a pregnant sorority sister who is considering having an abortion. Jess sadly sometimes goes unnoticed as a headstrong final girl. She does her fair share of protecting herself from the film’s antagonist, Billy, even mistakenly killing her boyfriend in the process.

Unfortunately, Hussey did not do much horror after Black Christmas, although she played Norman Bates’ mother in Psycho IV: The Beginning. Hussey’s character of Jess could be considered the first “fighter” final girl and her performance still holds up well after four decades. I know that many of her fans, including myself, would love to see her make a return to the genre.

Author Noah Nicholas Nelson is currently in preproduction on his first horror feature which will begin shooting later this year. You can like the film on Facebook here: Delusional.