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He Knows You're Alone [Import]
In the late '70s, the "slasher" film was more popular than ever, gaining momentum with immensely successful low budget hits like Friday the 13th. Studios jumped on the band wagon, rushing quickie imitations into theaters hoping to parlay the hoopla into box-office glory. Not surprisingly, many fervent film critics tried to deflate theatergoers' interest in the "splatter" phenomenon, denouncing it as a trend of violent exploitation, but the public was simply too bloodthirsty to care. He Knows You're Alone was released sandwiched between a jillion similar non-notables but is perhaps most distinguished by its uncanny parallels to Halloween and the film debut of superstar Tom Hanks in a bit role. The plot involves a killer preying upon young brides-to-be, a psychosis brought on by an earlier trauma involving wedding dresses, not catching the bouquet, or some other nonsense. Caitlin O'Heaney likeably plays heroine Amy Jensen who senses she's being stalked, or is she just imagining things due to pre-wedding nerves? Her apprehension intensifies as her friends start dying off one by one. Unfortunately director Armand Mastroianni (cousin of Marcello), diffuses much of the suspense by identifying the killer early on, and you may swear halfway through that you've seen this somewhere before. Nonetheless, there are some decent scares including a semi-classic shock involving an aquarium that's sure to give you the chills. Recommended viewing for horror lovers, and ardent Tom Hanks fans. --Matt Wold
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Top Customer Reviews
However, if you are a horror fanatic this will deliver the goods & have you hugging your knees on the sofa late at night.
There are plenty of jolts in this one.
I am sure Tom Hanks keeps this one buried with his Bosom Buddies Bra's. Ha-ha
I hope this one will start a trend of some more treasured 80's horror flicks finally seeing the light of day on DVD.
I hate spoilers in these reviews, so i will just say that "in a nutshell" the premise revolves around brides to be being stalked by a homicidal nutjob. I guarantee the opening & closing scenes will get your pulse going.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sure, the movie is a "Halloween" ripoff, but why not ripoff the greatest horror movie of all-time and tweak the plot with different variations and a different situation? Then what do you get? A very scary and successful slasher film which is very Halloweenesque yet has a character all its own. First of all, I love John Carpenter's Halloween, so anything resembling that first movie, I have an affection for, so keep that in mind when reading my reviews.
In this movie, the plot is laid out for the audience rather quickly and violently. A young girl about to get married is murdered in the beginning of the film by a creepy, mysterious and very angry man, who incidentally never speaks throughout the entire film. The audience comes to find out that this particular man is a very dangerous serial killer who HATES "brides to be" and in the killer's very sick mind, he has a reason for hating these brides.
The audience is then introduced to the main character, a girl named Amy played by Caitlin O'Heaney who is about to have a wedding, and well, "Ray" or "He Knows You're Alone Man" finds out about it and he is not pleased...he becomes very angry about it. In fact, he begins stalking her and she sees him around what seems like every corner, "a la" Michael Myers in John Carpenter's original masterpiece "Halloween". In fact, "He Knows You're Alone" darn near steals John Carpenter's Halloween music as well, but again, the music created is very effective and very creepy even though it is borrowed somewhat from Halloween.
The musical score of this movie is terrific as it provides excellent mood and theme sounds that was a hallmark of the superior movie "Halloween". We also have a detective in this movie named Len, who is obsessed with the killer and we can see another parallel with that of Halloween as Dr. Loomis was obsessed with Michael Myers. So, indeed, "He Knows You're Alone" is a Halloween ripoff but it is still very good even if it is not as good Halloween. I suspect that anyone who liked the movie "Halloween" will also find this movie highly entertaining.
"He Knows You're Alone" contains quite a few scary scenes including some very nice death scenes. And, make sure you checkout Amy's beautiful fish tank near the ending...I think you'll really like what Ray does with it. I don't want to give everything away, but I recommend this movie to all horror movie fans, especially slasher film fanatics.
In conclusion, "He Knows You're Alone" does borrow significantly from Halloween, but the movie does play on its variations enough to be convincing and entertaining in its own right. The ending is certainly different and the only real criticism that I have of this movie is we don't know what happened to the killer as the killer becomes an afterthought of the movie, but in a way, that can be quite thought provoking in and of itself.
Also, you might find it interesting that this was Tom Hanks' first film as he plays a small but competent role as a young jogger that another girl in the film becomes interersted in romantically. "He Knows You're Alone" is one of the very best slasher-horror films of all-time and it deserves every bit of its 4.5 really BIG STARS!!
Go buy this movie like I did, but just remember one thing when you are watching this film at night by yourself, you never know what dark room "He Knows You're Alone Man" might be hiding in! Sweet dreams.
Directed by Armand Mastroianni, who went on to direct mainly episodes of television series like Friday the 13th: The Series and War of the Worlds: The Second invasion, the film stars Caitlan O'Heaney, whom I most remember from the early 80's TV show Tales of the Gold Monkey. Also appearing are Don Scardino (Squirm), James Rebhorn (Meet the Parents, Independence Day), Paul Gleason (Trading Places, The Breakfast Club, Die Hard), and, of course, Tom Hanks in a minor bit parts encompassing all of about 5 minutes of screen time.
Okay, so here's the basic plot...Amy (O'Heaney) is about to be married. Along with the usual problems, dress fittings, flower arrangements, etc., she's been noticing a mysterious figure everywhere she goes. Turns out a killer is on the loose, and he seems to have a thing for brides to be...also, it seems the killer is somewhat known by the local police, as he's struck before, but had stopped for awhile, confounding the efforts of law enforcement to capture him...but now has returned and is up to his old ways again. One detective in particular has a personal interest in seeing the serial killer stopped. Anyway, Amy continues to be stalked, yet those around here think her sightings are due to nervousness of her impending nuptials, and don't take her seriously. The killer not only stalks Amy, but begins finding victims in Amy's friends and those associated with the wedding in general (pity the poor tailor...). Will Amy be able convince not only herself, but also her friends (the ones that are left) and the police of the existence of this mysterious killer before it's too late? I hope so, because the reception hall isn't keen on returning the deposit...
The first thing I noticed in He Know You're Alone is how much the musical score apes that of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, used so effectively in The Exorcist. Often lesser films, especially within the horror genre, borrow from better films, but this just seemed a little too blatant for my tastes. The characters are a bit hollow and lifeless, lacking any real chemistry, and don't do enough to really endear themselves to the audience which is pretty important as ideally you should be concerned for their welfare thus increasing the tension when danger is near. I never really connected with any of the characters, so I cared little if they found themselves victims of the killer. Also, the motivation of the killer never seemed clear (well, at least until the end, and even then, it was pretty translucent). The whole idea of him killing women soon to be wed fell apart, as we soon saw this wasn't really the case, as victims were pretty much random. There was no mystery (other than his motivations) to the killer as we saw his face often, and he didn't really present a formidable or fearsome nature (he looked like he got a lot of sun on his face while wearing large sunglasses, giving the effect of a rather large raccoon). Even his methods of killing were rather bland, more or less stabbing his victims with knives. There was a decapitation (not shown), which resulted in a horribly pathetic fake looking head in an odd place (I won't say where, as that would give too much away). Also, there is little to no blood anywhere throughout the film (maybe it wasn't in the budget). I don't really see how you can have a slasher film with no blood, unless they decided to `buck the trend', and try and focus the audience's attention on the suspense rather than the gore. Fans of the genre like their blood, and will probably be disappointed. There were a few tense and suspenseful moments, but so much of what was going to happen seemed entirely obvious that I found myself often guessing (correctly) how various particular scenes were going to end. Another thing, I found it quite annoying how easily the killer gained access to many places undetected, almost as if he were able to `will' himself inside. There are a few original moments within the film, but even those are kind of spoiled in that often they are dragged before the audience too long, as if to say "look at this", effectively draining the subtlety and spoiling the intended effect. As mentioned by another reviewer, correctly, in my opinion, this whole film seems to be a paper-thin copy of Halloween, without any of the elements that made that film so good and fun to watch. As I said before, the ending seemed a bit transparent, but provides a nice wrap around, and the reward was just to little, too late. Basically what you have here is a mediocre film borrowing a bit too much from a better film, packing little punch (and blood). I kind of see this film as being a primer for someone who hasn't experienced many horror films, especially those within the slasher genre. Kinda like training wheels on a bicycle...try it out, see if you like it, and then move on to more advanced material. If you're already there, then you might find a passing interest, but don't expect too much.
The wide screen picture on this DVD looks excellent (to my surprise), and the audio comes through pretty clear. Special features include a theatrical trailer, and a commentary track by the director Armand Mastroianni and screenwriter Scott Parker. All in all, not a bad film, certainly serviceable, and retaining novelty value given it's Tom Hanks first screen appearance, but I would recommend Black Christmas (1974) for someone looking for a underrated and not often seen gem in the genre.
This is an 80's slasher film not very different from other movies of the time; it features young girls being stalked and murdered. If I had to compare it to other better-known films it's more similar to Halloween (which has a smaller body count and relies more on suspense to make viewers scared than gore) than it is Friday the 13th (which is shocking more due to the large amounts of gory deaths). I wouldn't recommend this movie to people interested in more modern, ultra blood and explicit horror movies He Know's You're Alone does not have much to stand out above the rest, but fans of this genre will at the very least have a good time watching
. The acting is ok, with only a few moments where I didn't find it believable. It even has a few moments where I felt genuine suspense. At the same time it also have a problems. The climax isn't the most . . . climactic, and was one of the less-suspenseful parts of the movie. It also lacked music that would have aided in the suspense, and often, even during the climax, it was just silent.
In addition, this is a quality DVD, with good picture and sound quality compared to other budget titles. It has the usual features: language selections and trailer, but also includes director and writer commentary, which is rare for a cheaper DVD.