June 12, 2011

He Knows You're Alone (1980)



"A young bride-to-be is being stalked upon by a serial killer. She gets help from a former lover, but will they manage to escape?"

I bought "He Knows You're Alone" from Big Lots quite a while ago due to a few people talking about it on various horror forums. I only got round to watching it all the way through for the first time a couple of days ago because, unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the most amateur and boring films that I've ever had the misfortune to fall asleep to.

According to the IMDb, this "Halloween" clone was shot in just 15 days although how it even took that long beats me. Filled with terrible acting, hardly any gore, and being dated beyond belief, is only the tip of the iceberg for all the bad things I could say about this film.

Not only are several scenes almost identical to "Halloween" (1976), including shots of the killer standing outside the victim's house and looking up at the window, but the score sounds so similar to John Carpenter's music that I'm surprised that there weren't a few lawsuits at the time.

By far the worst thing for me was the pace at which the story unfolded. As much as I appreciate character development and exposition, I'd prefer it if there was some purpose behind it and not just a load of padding. None of the drawn out and stagey talking scenes made me care about any of the characters.

Freckly-chested Caitlin O'Heaney in the lead role of Amy Jensen was certainly not as strong as Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode and was actually a hundred times more annoying especially at the end where she could only run about twenty feet before stopping to see if the killer was going to catch up with her.

The only things which did interest me were what was going on it the Staten Island background. Seeing a sign for cigarettes at only 65c amused me especially as they are nearly $10 now, and, of course, all the really old electronics from 1980 are fascinating.

Of course, the main claim of "He Knows You're Alone" is that it has Tom Hanks in it for less than five minutes as a psychology student and Paul Gleason (aka Principal Richard Vernon from "The Breakfast Club") for even less time than that. I have no idea if any of the other actors and actresses were famous for anything because I don't think I've ever seen them in anything else.

I admit that the opening "film within a film" scene fooled me and, even though the technique wasn't very original, it was probably the best part of the whole thing other than the only pretty actress (whose name I don't even know) getting naked for a somewhat gratuitous shower much later on. I struggled to pay attention to everything inbetween since the rare occasions when anything did happen were so short-lived and bloodless that it really failed miserably as a worthwhile slasher.

At least the story tried to be original with the psycho initially going after brides-to-be but even that aspect was inconsistent as he randomly killed nearly everybody else too. It was all pretty tame stuff though and a certain car stunt was completely ridiculous.

"He Knows You're Alone" isn't even bad enough to be funny, it's just boring and bad. I'm not even going to get into discussing the terrible depiction of police work or the poor acting skills of Lewis Arlt as an obsessed detective who managed to do as little as possible. I still have no idea what the purpose of his character even was.

The ending alone is enough to guarantee it a place in The Dungeon even without the stupid tacked-on epilogue. I do not recommend this film.

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