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.
Alice Spages is a withdrawn 12 year old girl who lives with her mother, Catherine, and her younger sister, Karen.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
Original prints of Alice, Sweet Alice had the title credits with the animated painting of Alice holding the knife that newer digital copies of the film have, but the original title letters still said 'Communion', which, in 1998, was edited to comply with the name it was to be marketed under. 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 »
[about her ex-husband]
I don't know why I'm so worried. I just can't imagine where he could be.
Maybe you are afraid that God will send St. Michael to take another of your loved ones. When St. Michael took my little girl, I only thought of how cruel God was.
Mrs. Tredoni, I'm sorry. I never knew you had a little girl.
God took her from me on the day of her first communion, don't you see? He waited until then to teach me that children pay for the sins of their parents. And then I was sent here to...
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During the ending credits there is no music and the screen doesn't turn black, the last frame of the film remains in the background forever. See more »
This is a brilliant, original, thought-provoking horror movie that has festered in obscurity for some time. Despite a laserdisc release and a slew of alternate titles -- "Alice Sweet Alice" and "Holy Terror" are but two -- it is still virtually unknown.
At the time of its release, PR wags made a big deal that it featured Brook Shields in her first on-screen role. PR wags did not make a big deal of the fact that there had not been anything like it ever before and that it featured an amazing newcomer, Paula E. Sheppard, in a chilling role as a deeply disturbed schoolgirl who may or may not be responsible for a slew of gory murders. Add to those a strong Catholic subtext and hints of child abuse and you've got one incredible ninety minutes of mental and physical mayhem.
Director Alfred Sole, who also made the flawed but fascinating "Tanya's Island" and the rotten "Thursday the 12th" (aka "Pandemonium") creates unbelievable tension and always places his characters (who are very well written) before the horror. Plotting, characterization and suspense are so expertly mixed the film doesn't even feel like a genre piece at times ; instead, it feels like a European drama...but one circling a potent giallo.
As noted, Sheppard is superb as Alice; Linda Miller is exemplary as Alice's tormented mother Catherine and Jane Lowry as the domineering Aunt Annie turns in a powerhouse performance. And playing Alice's obese, perverted neighbor to chilling perfection is the late Alphonso DeNoble. The scene in which he comes close to molesting Alice is priceless for its economy and authenticity.
From the excellent photography to the super-creepy score by Stephen Lawrence, "Communion" is compelling until the final body hits the church floor.
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