In 1961, a divorced Catholic couple's life is turned upside down when one of their two adolescent daughters is suspected of her younger sister's brutal murder during her First Holy Communion... Read allIn 1961, a divorced Catholic couple's life is turned upside down when one of their two adolescent daughters is suspected of her younger sister's brutal murder during her First Holy Communion, and a series of subsequent stabbings.In 1961, a divorced Catholic couple's life is turned upside down when one of their two adolescent daughters is suspected of her younger sister's brutal murder during her First Holy Communion, and a series of subsequent stabbings.
I do know that the original title was Communion but they chose Alice Sweet Alice which is a lame title in my opinion. The film is about a spoiled 12 year old girl named Alice played by Paula Sheppard. She is jealous of her angelic 10 year old sister Karen who is played by Brooke Shields. One of her church's priests Father Tom gives Karen his mother's crucifix and Alice is very jealous. Alice torments Karen by taking one of her dolls and scaring her by wearing a weird translucent mask and a raincoat. She threatens Karen not to tell anyone. All of this is set up to make Alice look like a bad seed. On the day of her First Communion, Karen is strangled to death in the church transept by a person wearing a translucent mask and a yellow raincoat. Her body is stuffed into a bench compartment near the confessionals, which is set on fire with a candle, but not before her crucifix is ripped from her neck. This first murder is not gory but is very brutal. Alice comes into the church to receive her communion but is found to have Karen's veil. The film is pointing to her as the killer so obviously that it is not hard to figure she's really innocent. But of course she's so unlikable that the film leaves the possibility open. We see Alice's mother Catherine played by Linda Miller dealing with her grief along with her sister Annie who loves in to help. She does not get along at all with Alice. Catherine us divorced, but her ex husband Dominick comes to the funeral and wants to find out more about Karen's murder. The whole film is set up in a sort of melodramatic way. The performances are good but border on camp in some scenes. The killer keeps appearing going after others in Alice's life. The film is very tense and creepy at times. It also has alot of religious imagery. I don't think that directpr Alfred Sole is a big fan of Catholicism, he deals with sin, guilt and especially hypocrisy. Even though the film does have a simple even cheap.look it is well made. The image of the translucent mask and tge raincoat is very creepy. The film throws some clues on who the killer is but really wants to.keep the possibility that it could be Alice. When it us revealed who the killer actually is it is kind of confusing but all I can say is that the motivation is very similar to what was seen in David Fincher's Se7en. The final 30 minutes kind of lags a little butthe story is pretty involving.
The film is not really that bloody but the violence it does have is pretty brutal. It is a film that has been largely ignored in the mainstream but I think it is one of the better early slasher horror films of the 70's. At times,, it actually feels very much like an Italian giallo.
Very creepy and effective.
- Feb 2, 2021