An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
A little girl is murdered, and everyone in her Catholic community starts accusing her black sheep, asocial sister, Alice. Alice's grief-struck mother, Catherine, has to try to cope, but if Alice isn't the killer, then who is?
Alice Spages is a withdrawn 12 year old girl who lives with her mother, Catherine, and her younger sister, Karen. Karen gets most of the attention from her mother, and Alice is often left out of the spotlight. But when Karen is found brutally murdered in a church before her first holy communion, all suspicions are turned towards Alice. But is a twelve year old girl really capable of such savagery? As more people begin to die at the hands of a merciless killer, Alice becomes more and more likely of a suspect. Written by
Columbia Pictures was set to release the movie (as "Communion"), but pulled out for legal reasons. When Allied Artists picked it up, director Alfred Sole demanded a title change so that the audience wouldn't think it was seeing a religious film. The book adaptation retains the film's original title. See more »
In the opening credits Atonino Rocca is credited as the funeral director but in the ending credits he's credited as a funeral attendant. See more »
Brilliant from the Atmospheric Opening Credits to the Chilling Final Frame
Creepy little sleeper that's heavily inspired by Nicholas Roeg's seminal Don't Look Now(1972). There is a lot of focus on the motif of innocnece and guilt. One of the most religious horror films ever made. The ideals of the church play a prominent role in the plot of the film. Like in Don't Look Now(1972), there is the image of a child with a rain coat wearing a mask. Every character in the film with the exception of Father Tom is unlikable and unsympathetic. The main character Alice is the creepiest protagonist to appear in a horror movie. There is a interesting Oedipus relationship between Mrs. Tredoni and Father Tom.
The direction by Alfred Sole is excellent and the story is compelling to follow. Linda Miller does a fine job as the mother of Alice, Catherine. There are some parts of the film that remind me of the giallo, Don't Torture A Duckling(1972). Both Alice Sweet Alice(1976) and Don't Torture A Duckling(1972) deal in their own way with the loss of innocence motif. Better than most horror movies done in the mid to late 1990s. The late Paula E. Sheppard gives a powerful and scary performance as the title character, Alice. The murder scenes are well filmed and realisticly staged. Alice Sweet Alice(1976) was known mostly as the film debut for future model and actress Brooke Shields.
The character of Karen is extremely unlikable. Its easy in the first act of the story to sympathize with Alice because she treated horribly by her mother compared to her sister. Brooke Shields plays her character very well. The attempted murder of Aunt Annie played by Jane Lowry is stylish and unpredictable. Alice although not a murder by the end of the film is someone who is capable of murder. The mask worn by the killer predates the masks worn by the murderer in Halloween(1978), and Valentine(2001). Even some parts of the story reminds me of Halloween(1978). Alice Sweet Alice(1976) is an emotionally fullfilling horror pic that has developed a cult following over the years.
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