February 23, 2012

He Knows You're Alone (1980)

When it comes to slasher flicks, 1980 was pretty much the jumping off point. Halloween of course arguably gave birth to it all, but it wasn't until Friday the 13th that the slasher craze truly began. After F13th, studios scrambled to get their own slasher flick into theaters to cash in on the trend, and most of them just had to be clever about it.

Every holiday in the world was used as a reason for someone to run around killing nubile teenagers, from Valentine's Day to Mother's Day, but one movie said "screw holiday's, we're going to exploit brides instead!"

Yep, it was this one.

He Knows You're Alone, along with Prom Night, F13, Terror Train and Happy Birthday to Me, was a part of the 1980 slasher vanguard that sent horror fans into a frenzy, and began a decade long fascination with creepy masked killers with long knives stalking unsuspecting teens and killing them in increasingly clever ways.

Maybe this killer didn't have a mask, but most of them did!
He Knows You're Alone opens with a shot of a bride (Amy) on her wedding day, sitting alone in a room, staring into a mirror, when out of nowhere her ex-lover appears and stabs her to death. Her hubby to be was a cop, so you know this is all set up for the rest of the movie...

... which begins a few years later, as Amy is set to marry her cheating-ass, uber-douche of a boyfriend, Clint, or Chad (or some equally douchey name.) Her ex-boyfriend is doing his best to get her to dump Brad and marry him instead, but he's a geek who works in the morgue, so he's already fighting for her with a double handicap.

She is definitely 80's hot.
Amy's bridal party is made up of morons and sluts, who at least have the decency to have that sexy early 80's look going on, even if their hair screams Charlie's Angels a little too much. It's not long before we discover that the killer from the first scene is back, skulking around and stalking Amy. It's all very Michael Myers-ish if you ask us, but eh, it's a slasher flick... it only has so much creative license at its disposal...

He knows you're alone... because he's standing right there and can see that you are!
He tries to kill to Amy a few times, but is thwarted at every turn, so he begins to kill her friends and anyone who is even remotely involved with her pending nuptials. Even the sweet old tailor gets it, all because he's altering her dress; now that's a man with a dedication to vendetta! We're pretty sure that the guy two towns over who was making the wedding cake got offed too, but that was off screen, so we will never truly know.

What's odd to us is how oblivious Amy (and apparently everyone else in town) is to her friends being murdered. Her Ex even works at the morgue, and he doesn't tell her that one of her bridesmaids is laid out on one of his slabs? How does that even happen?

Maybe we're just dummies...
This is a fun flick in a kitschy sort of way. It's not overtly bloody, not particularly scary, but it gets the job done. Back in the day, it probably thrilled audiences. These days, we the audience are so jaded and have been so inundated with slasher and slasher-like flicks, that this one may seem more like slasher-lite to us.

Worst of all to us, was the ending. It was a relatively new thing to do the shocking, twist-ending back then, but it doesn't make it any less lame now. The ending in this one will make you shake your head, I promise you that. It felt almost 80s Italian style.

"Vance, what are you doing here?" Yeah.
C+ For the sake of nostalgia alone, He Knows You're Alone gets an above average mark. It's definitely a piece of slasher movie history, and even though it has plenty of flaws, it still has that old school slasher feel about it. It needed more of an edge to it, but as it stands it's a fun throwback flick to check out every now and then.

It's fun to note how many future stars played small roles in this flick, so let's take a look at them.

Oh yeah, that's Tom Hanks. First movie ever.
Paul Gleason, best movie principle ever!
James Rebhorn, the guy whose name you don't know, but have seen in about 120 different things.
Little Audrey from National Lampoon's Euro Vacation grew up hot.


  1. I wanna see this simply because of Gleason and Hanks. Great review.

  2. well, there is nothing to argue about halloween DID start it all. friday the 13th would not have existed without halloween. the producers of friday even sent people to the theaters where halloween was showing to take notes. where did i read that? in a book about the friday series. it always takes imitators who are jumping on a band wagon a little while to figure out how they are going to ride the success of another film which was the trend setter. it took longer back then for imitations to appear than it does now. look how long it took for clones of night of the living dead (1968) to start popping up. as for he knows you're alone i like it. i know it is a halloween clone, but i like it any way.