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He Knows You're Alone
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He Knows You're Alone (1980)

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Plot Summary:
"A reluctant bride to be is stalked by a serial killer who only kills brides and the people around them. While her friends get whacked one by one, a hard boiled renegade cop whose bride had been killed years before tries to hunt him down before it is too late. Meanwhile, the bride has to figure out if it is all in her imagination or not, aided by her ex-boyfriend."


Reviewer: Andy Lines @horrorasylum
Location:Manchester, UK
Review Date: 10 March 2004 My Rating: out of 5

 

He Knows Your Alone was directed by Armand Mastroianni who also made the giallo inspired thriller The Killing Hour, which starred the lovely Elizabeth Kemp who also features in this movie. But with such original ideas for his other films, comparing He Knows Your Alone to them makes it seem a bit of a disappointment.

One reason for this is that it does rip off Halloween, not just little bits, but whole scenes and music from the film (even more then the other great Halloween rip off Final Exam IMO), but this does not make the film entirely bad. The Film opens up with two girls watching a silly slasher film. Suddenly a man sits down behind them, and pulls out a knife!

We soon meet up with Amy (Caitlin O'Heanley) as she says goodbye to her husband-to-be. But not everything is, as it seems in the run up to her wedding, she still has feelings for her ex, Marvin (Don Scardino), the wedding dress isn't finished, and worst of all she thinks she's being stalked. Her friend Nancy (Elizabeth Kemp) shrugs it off as pre-wedding jitters, but no matter where she goes (out running in the woods or to the fair), she keeps seeing the same figure brandishing a kitchen knife, or thinks she does!

He Knows Your Alone was made just as the slasher craze started up, so it does have a certain spark of originality, the idea of the killer of young bride-to-be's (which Amy and her friends are) is a neat little plot twist, as are the settings, from the art-house cinema in the opening, the bridal shop or the morgue, they all add to a creepy atmosphere the film creates.

The acting in the movie isn't exactly top notch, but O'Heanley (Amy) does particularly well and her wide-eyed shock expression is something which is well remembered (and used on the posters). Liz Kemp also does well as the caring friend who is an obvious lamb for the slaughter, especially the scene where she takes a lie down, spliff in hand. Everyone else in the movie just acts on what they are given in the script. The killer (Tom Rolfing) is actually quite distinctive being a middle-aged and not really scary looking man, but the look of anger on his face during the killings adds a viscous aspect to the proceedings.

The gore in this film is kept to a minimum, seeing an occasional splatter ~ the best effect is seeing Nancy's head floating around in a fish tank (after being decapitated off screen). The best overall death is that of the tailor who is stabbed to death with a pair of scissors (not seen). The killer jumping out of a rack of dresses to attack him is one of the best shock moments in the movie.

Another good scene involves Amy finding Nancy's head and the killer slowly walking out of the darkness behind her, but while this scene is a rip off of a similar scene in another certain well known slasher, it is used well, and actually helps provide a decent scare to the proceedings.

Many slasher fans praise the ending, but for me the scenes in the morgue, while being creepy, just didn't work. It was too well lit to provoke any real atmosphere and the jump scenes can be seen coming a mile off. Also these scenes must be the only bit in any slasher film where the heroine finds comfort in placing her head in her polo-neck jumper...in view of the killer! An 'if I can't you, you can't see me' situation I think...Not!

OVERALL SUMMARY
OVERALL Although He Knows Your Alone does not entirely work, it is quite the enjoyable watch. It has a few well-placed shocks, the settings are great, has a fun twist ending, and features Tom Hanks in it for five minutes - what more can you say. While being leaps ahead of the likes of The Mutilator or Home Sweet Home, it still isn't near the cream of the slasher crop.



Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 12 October 2003 My Rating: out of 5

Bride to be Amy is suffering from a bout of pre wedding jitters. It seems that everywhere she goes she sees a man apparently stalking her. Her friends all think that it's a result of her doubts about her impending nuptuals, but we know that there will come a sharp point when they will be forced to believe her.

The main problem with this film is audience attitude, as it seems everone who has ever seen this is quick to dismiss it as a 'Halloween' clone.

Yes, I can see and hear perfectly well so therefore realised that the theme tune is Michael Myer's signature tune in a higher key and yes I realised the similarities in dress code and weapon of choice between this and 'Halloween' boogeyman Myers too.

The cast including Paul Gleason, James Rebhorn and Tom Hanks in his movie debut, are all likeable enough if not a little bit cheesy and the whole point of the story is a little silly too, but aside form this it's not all that bad.

In the end we have a well constructed little slasher that manages to showcase some eerie locations, namely an old fashioned movie theatre, a ghost train and a house in the suburbs, and it has it's heart in the right place too.

It's true Tom Hanks has 4 scenes, the score is cheesy in places along with the acting and our lead lady does actually hide from the killer rather unsuccessfully in her polo-neck jumper!! But aside from this, the film was the main inspiration for the start of 'Scream 2' so it can't be that bad.

OVERALL SUMMARY
On first watch alone, I would have given this a 4 but after a second viewing, discussion and careful evaluation, this gets a 3 as it did get a little too cheesy.




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