Thanks to a major power cut, a gang of psychopaths breaks out of the Haven maximum security mental institute in order to lay siege to the psychiatrists who have tormented them over the years with their bizarre theories...Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
This here is one more American horror movie that reflects social issues and behavior patterns of a certain era (a truly interesting genre), in this case the early nineteen eighties. The main target' is a small young family in New Jersey. The father is a psychiatrist, who just started working at a lunatic asylum. He is some kind of bleeding heart liberal, down to driving a vintage Swedish SAAB model. The head of the asylum is even more liberal', he does not want to put the really dangerous cases in his custody behind bars. They can't help it being dangerous, they are not insane, but voyagers, is his credo.
Due to an incident in a nearby nuclear power station the wife and sister of the psychiatrist protested against (finding themselves promptly behind bars), the four most dangerous inmates can escape from the asylum. They get after the psychiatrist, because they think he killed his predecessor. Why? Just because they are insane. They set siege to his house, and from there the movie resembles Assault on Precinct 13.
The story may sound simple and dumb, but it works very well. This is not least due to the first rate cast with many venerable thespians. Alone in the Dark is definitely a must-see for fans of Martin Landau. Here he found one of the only too rare occasions to show off his range as an actor. He plays a mad preacher with rolling eyes, swinging around a burning jacket or wielding a sharp instrument. At one point he appears at the doorstep of the psychiatrist's house with a mailman's cap on his head, saying he wants to deliver a telegram. His facial expression just conveys sheer insanity, an unforgettable moment.
Basically, Alone in the Dark is a comedy or a social satire. There are some moments of gore, the suspense aspect is handled very well and in a rather parodic way. The movie and has a good rhythm of tension and subsequent relaxation. It contains a message which is pretty direct and comes through nicely: Some people are just dangerous and have to be kept away. It's OK to search for the reasons of their condition and find possible ways for a cure, but they have to be kept away first.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this