Visuals / Camera
Pacing / Editing
Entertainment Value / X-Factor
Mood / Atmosphere
The Bride to be.... or not.
A young woman, Amy who is about to get married soon starts to feel uneasy as it appears everywhere she goes she seems to spot the same creepy man lurking around her whereabouts. Her friends tell her it's probably just wedding day jitters.
It’s pretty straight forward here. A young woman who is about to get married soon starts to feel uneasy as it appears everywhere she goes she seems to spot the same creepy man lurking around her whereabouts. Her friends tell her it’s probably just wedding day jitters…. or is it?
He Knows You’re Alone was released September 12, 1980. It was Directed by Armand Mastroianni and Written by Scott Parker. The film only took 15 days to shoot. Production process took a bit longer, 4 months to be exact. This included writing to the final cut of the movie.
I believe John Carpenter’s Halloween was definitely the inspiration for this creepy horror flick. It’s similarities in the music score and also the fashion of which the killer carries himself. You can surely see Michael Myers was the template here for Ray Carlton’s presence. Although, no mask is used to conceal this stalkers identity, his motionless pale skinned face is all he needs. He does lack the “pure evil” presence in his stature, but I don’t truly believe that was to be apart of this particular characters persona.
Ray Carlton was to be married to the love of his life, just to be kicked to the curb by his bride to be. She decides to marry another man, the cop no less. Ray tracks the bride to be down and murders her in cold blood. This act of brutality ignites a slew of bride to be slayings before their wedding day. His next victim, Amy Jensen. Amy is all set to marry Phil. But the guys go on a bachelor party trip for the weekend and poor Amy is left behind. Don’t worry, her friends are all there, and Marvin of course. Marvin is Amy’s ex. He’s a lovable guy, can be annoying at times, but he is one of the most likable characters in the movie. To top it all off, he still has feelings for Amy. So does history repeat itself?
You’ll have to watch it to find out.
He Knows You’re Alone is your typical slasher style horror movie. It can be a bit slow going in some areas, as a few scenes in the movie tend to kinda drag out longer then they should. The characters in this movie seem to have some real chemistry together which is always a plus. Like I said, although a little annoying at times, you can’t help but love Marvin. He was my favorite character in this film.
Tom Hanks makes his movie debut here. It’s a small part as he is a jogger who ends up “bumping” into one of Amy’s friends who is also a jogger and has had her eye on him for a while. But as they say, there are no small parts, just small actors. It’s always cool to see these huge Hollywood stars in these old horror movies. Even though some would like to forget them.
The audio is pretty good for this old flick if you can only find it on VHS, surprisingly, it isn’t to bad at all. Or maybe I just lucked out and got a good copy. It’s more improved on the DVD of course. If you watch the letterbox version you will see some really good imagery shots that get cut short on the standard full screen version. I enjoy both formats for different reasons.
The kills are pretty straight forward. Nothing creative here kill wise at all. It’s straight forward gutting at its slimiest. There is one decapitation and it’s the best kill of the movie, it gave a lot of people the willies. The fish tank scene is what this movie is well known for. This movie also sparked a fear in people back in the 80’s with the killer sneaking into the movie theater to get one of his victims. It just so happens the 2 girls are watching a horror movie when Ray comes and sits down behind the bride victim to be. He then times his stabbing with the screaming of the girl in the horror movie they are watching. Making it look like his victim screamed at the movie, giving himself enough time to get away before the girl’s friend realizes she was just murdered. That scene sparked a wide paranoia in movie goers who went to the theaters for a while. People were afraid someone was going to stab them in their seat from behind.
Back then some theaters didn’t have the hard backs on the seats. He Knows You’re Alone isn’t one of the greatest slashers for graphic content by any means. But it does have its moments, they are just few and far between in this movie. The intensity level just isn’t there either in my opinion. It does have it’s creepy moments at times. Predictable? Sure, but what horror movie isn’t all that predictable? The characters in this movie truly does carry the film on their backs. Most found the characters more interesting then the story line of the movie. We all know there are much better stalker/slasher films out there to see, but I would still recommend this one to see, rip off or not, the movie has gained a fairly nice fan base behind it.
Don Scardino as Marvin
Caitlin O’Heaney as Amy Jensen
Elizabeth Kemp as Nancy
Tom Rolfing as Ray Carlton (the killer)
Lewis Arlt as Det. Len Gamble
Patsy Pease as Joyce
James Rebhorn as Prof. Carl Mason
Tom Hanks as Elliot
One of the things about this movie fans enjoyed was the song that played during the decapitation scene. The song was called, “It’s The Night Again”. I have to admit, I did and still do like the song as well. But could never find it.
There is a reason for that and I will share that momentarily. I had come in contact with the brother of the singer of this song a few years ago and have learned some history behind this lovable song among fans. I had posted about this on TalkHorror’s forum a few years ago. But here is what I found out….
The obvious info for starters at the end of the movie credits:
“IT’S THE NIGHT AGAIN”
Words by Alexanderaand Mark Peskanov, Brooksie Wells
Music by Alexander and Mark Peskanov
Sung by Vini Canali
The director found it was cheaper to hire someone to record songs for the movie than it would be to license music. It is the biggest reason why music from the film can not be found so easily.
Vini Canali is an American and was born in Brooklyn. He had some moderate success with his group, the Javalons, this was way before “He Knows You’re Alone”.
His brother, who I had spoke with has a lot of his early music and also the song “It’s The Night Again”. However, the original song is slightly different then the version you hear in the movie. There is less instrumentals. They added the instrumentals to the song for the movie.
Back then when I had spoken to his brother, he said he was going through stuff in hopes to find the song to share with fans. He actually was to get back with me, and he never did. I don’t know if he just didn’t because he did not find anything or if he was blowing smoke. I didn’t really get that sense, but never know I guess.
Eventually, I was able to get a hold of a fairly decent copy of the song. Not from the brother though. *wink*
Tom Hanks played the role of Elliot, in the original script, Elliot was to be killed. However, the Writers found Tom Hanks to be so charismatic on screen that they changed their minds.
The director and writer wanted the killer to show up instead of Amy’s ex-fiance Phil and kill her. Then the last shot of the movie would be him riding another bus into another town to stalk more brides. Apparently, the producers didn’t want the killer returning, so they shot the ending you see in the movie.
A few years ago I had read about this movie getting a remake. At the time there was no script or anything set in stone. Obviously, years later (present), we still have no remake for this film. As I said back then, I have no idea why they would choose to remake this, it was not a major stand out horror movie even for it’s time. But I guess anything to make a buck. We have had a rash of horror movie remakes over the years, I have not been to impressed with most of them. Personally, I think Hollywood is just running out of original ideas, which is saddening.