Thursday, April 23, 2009

Obscure Movie Review - "Alone in the Dark"

The 1980s heralded the turn in horror movies from gothic suspense to slasher. Some movies contained both characteristics during this time of change. The movie “Alone in the Dark” is one of those movies. And don't worry, the gore is very minimal.

Made in 1982, this movie has an impressive cast including Donald Pleasance, Jack Palance, and Martin Landau. Yeah, a horror movie with all three bigshots!

The premise is simple. A new psychiatrist comes to work at a mental hospital. The old psychiatrist he’s replacing moved on to greener pastures, but the patients who adored him come to believe psychotically that the new doc killed the old one and took his place. Now, they want revenge.

And they break out of their hospital to find his home and his family and trap them in there for a real suspenseful standoff.

The mental patients are fantastically developed into all your greatest fears of meeting on the street. That this innocent family has to deal with their wrath is terrifying. This was well acted, well planned out, and had a lot to say about psychosis and what is real and what isn’t.

It has a decidedly early 80s feel to it, kind of reminds me of the feel of “The Fog.” This is one in my collection I won’t part with. Occasionally, I’m in the mood for a stand-off movie with good acting and mental folks who make Jason and Michael seem like gifted children.

Give it a watch if you see it on the shelf. It’s definitely worth a look-see and perhaps even a purchase. P.S. Don’t mix this one up with the Christian Slater movie made in 2005 of the same name—that one stunk!


  1. I don't think I've seen this one, I'll see if I can find it.

  2. Hope you can--it's surprisingly suspenseful without being grotesque

  3. At first I thought your post was about "Wait Until Dark"(1967)
    Classic suspense story stars Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman terrorized in her apartment by crooks, one of which was played by Richard Crenna. Man, he was so good and sent chills down my spine. Although this one sounds familar I will need to check it out to see if I have seen it before. You must have one hell of a collection of classic horror movies?

  4. Hey Julie;
    I love "Wait Until Dark"--what a classic! I had a terror of being blind for a few years after seeing that one. I thought it was the ultimate vulnerability, and then I realized in the dark she had an advantage, like a super power, so I got over my childhood fear. I do have an extensive collection. I used to have hundreds, but then I'm an organized Virgo and I got real about what I'd likely view again or not. I only am willing to give space to an anointed few (perhaps 100 now). Hee hee :-)

  5. Oh my gosh, I totally remember this movie! I must have been about 12 or 13 when I saw it...and it scared me enough that I never really forgot it.

    I didn't realize who starred in it! I might have to snag that one from Netflix for a re-watch. :)

  6. Pamela;
    Don't you love Netflix? I love being able to watch stuff instantly. That's how I saw the movie I reviewed earlier called "Pin." I had never seen that one in a video store.