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Alice Spages is a withdrawn 12 year old girl who lives with her mother, Catherine, and her younger sister, Karen.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's family and the police don't know what to believe. Written by
"Alice, Sweet Alice", unfortunately listed here under its more tame alias "Communion", is a modest but sublime thriller that excellently fits in the superior horror decade that were the 70's. It's in fact a thriller with just that tad bit extra Despite of the modest budget Alfred Sole had to work with, his film doesn't look dated like many others and the influence it had on the slasher sub-genre is amazing. Who killed little Karen Spages during her first communion service? This question with a seemly obvious answer keeps you entertained and especially frightened throughout almost the entire film. Too bad the story loses some of its impact around the hour, due to a few tedious sequences and unexciting dialogs. Luckily, Sole rapidly continues where he left off and delivers us a truly marvelous finale where even Hitchcock himself would show respect for. There's a terrific catholic atmosphere and symbolism featuring in this film, stressed extra by the chilling musical score. Although the movie more or less became famous because it introduces Brooke Shields, it's in fact Paula E. Sheppard who gives away a flawless and imposing acting performance as Alice. She has this brilliantly nihilistic glance in her eyes that makes you feel uncomfortable. "Alice Sweet Alice" is definitely a film I would recommend to every horror fan. It contains several highly memorable sequences like, for example, all the ones involving the fat filthy and perverted neighbor. Fundamental horror viewing for Gothic lovers.
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