HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE (1980)
Article 3223 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-15-2010
Posting Date: 6-11-2010
Directed by Armand Mastroianni
Featuring Don Scardino, Caitlin O’Heaney, Elizabeth Kemp
What it is: HALLOWEEN clone
A psycho killer who specializes in prospective brides (and anyone else he feels like) is on the loose. A detective (whose own bride-to-be was murdered by the psycho, who happened to be a jilted boyfriend) has vowed to catch him. A woman about to be married is the killer’s next target.
It’s a slasher script, modeled off of HALLOWEEN rather than FRIDAY THE 13TH, which means it’s more interested in the suspense than the gore. But Armand Mostroianni is no John Carpenter (but this was only his first movie, and he got better), Caitlin O’Heaney is no Jamie Lee Curtis, and Lewis Arlt is no Donald Pleasence. We get lots and lots of lines like “I think I’m being followed” and “Is someone there?” and unending conversations on the woman’s doubt about her impending marriage (all designed to lead up to a lame twist ending). There’s a few good moments; the opening murder is well-staged, and it effectively sets up a clever hint that the killer is in the house at one point (if you can count to five, you’ll know what I mean). However, the movie way overdoes its attempts to ratchet up the suspense; all too often it comes off as annoying rather than scary. By the way, this was Tom Hanks’s first movie; his character was originally supposed to be killed, but he turned out to be so likable that the murder was taken out of the script.