He Knows You’re Alone (1980)

He Knows You're Alone (1980)


In Staten Island, New York, a college student, Amy Jensen (Caitlin O’Heaney, Three O’Clock High), prepares for her upcoming wedding unaware that she’s been stalked by a lunatic known for killing brides-to-be.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Thirty years later, this Halloween clone stands out from other slasher films of the decade because it was produced by the almighty Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Roaring lion logo notwithstanding, He Knows You’re Alone, written by Scott Parker, directed by Armand Mastroianni (The Supernaturals), was made with very little money yet it somewhat lacks the appealing grunginess of its counterparts.

Yes, He Knows You’re Alone has more than a few similarities with Carpenter’s 1978 classic, but it has none of its inventiveness and energy.

It looks flat, TV-movie-like flat, and the lack of violence only reinforces the feeling that you are watching something that was made for the small screen. It’s hard to tell if director Mastroianni was trying to concentrate on suspense rather than gore, or he was just afraid to embrace graphic violence. The end result is a clunky slasher movie that is too mean-spirited for non-fans and not violent enough for rabid horror aficionados.

He Knows You’re Alone does have some good moments here and there so it isn’t a complete waste of time. The premise of the film is not bad either; this is simply a case of delivering less than promised.

The cast is largely composed of unknowns: Elizabeth Kemp (The Killing Hour) plays O’Heaney’s friend, James Carroll (Girls Nite Out) plays O’Heaney’s husband-to-be, Paul Gleason (The Great Santini) plays a detective, James Rebhorn (The Talented Mr. Ripley) plays a psychology professor, and Tom Hanks (yes, THAT Tom Hanks!) plays a college student. Also, Don Scardino, who is better known as the co-creator of TV’s 30 Rock, plays O’Heaney ex-boyfriend.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

He Knows You’re Alone is not bad-bad, just forgettable (I do love the poster & title). Today, the film is notable as the screen debut of Tom Hanks. He has two scenes and he is kind of awful — there is nothing here that would indicate movie-stardom potential. Color, 85 minutes, Rated R.

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