November 13, 2016
Alice, Sweet Alice.
Review #867: Alice, Sweet Alice.
Linda Miller (Catherine Spages), Mildred Clinton (Mrs. Tredoni), Paula Sheppard (Alice Spages), Niles McMaster (Dominick 'Dom' Spages), Jane Lowry (Aunt Annie DeLorenze), Rudolph Willrich (Father Tom), Michael Hardstark (Detective Spina), Alphonso DeNoble (Alphonso), Gary Allen (Jim DeLorenze), and Brooke Shields (Karen Spages) Directed by Alfred Sole.
40 years ago (November 13, 1976) this film (originally known as Communion) was released, and I figured that it was time to get to reviewing it. From the beginning there is a certain kind of strange aura to everything, from the imagery to the characters, with DeNoble being one of the standouts in terms of creepiness. The mask used by the killer is especially creepy, in part due to how translucent it is. The scenes where the stabbings take place are great, in part because how sudden they are along with the fact that the movie builds up the right mood for it. I should note that the movie is set in the 1960's (filmed in Paterson, New Jersey), and the look of the movie helps make for a nifty mystery. The characters are written with a bit of cynicism to them, where authority figures aren't necessarily the ones easy to root for, which is a nice twist. The family dynamic is also riveting in its own right, because it plays a significant part in the plot while also making for fine drama. It even manages to have a good twist (thankfully not just placed at the end) which certainly leaves for some good thrill along with a bit of thinking to it. The music by Stephen J. Lawrence is also pretty good, having the right sense of chills and atmosphere, especially around the death scenes. The last one in particular is great, because it manages to seal the eerie nature of the movie with a semblance of macabre to everything.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.