“He Knows You’re Alone.” What a perfect horror movie title. No ambiguity there, as opposed to the movie I watched last night, “My Engine’s Fragile Sound,” which could’ve been about NASCAR for all I knew.
Not to play spoiler, but he did in fact know that they were alone, and he did not-so-pleasant things with that knowledge.
This slasher flick is about a man who, for reasons that are never fully explained save for a brief flashback, is stalking young brides, as well as their friends and apparently anybody else he crosses paths with.
“He Knows You’re Alone” was part of the early wave of slasher films in which a specific segment of young females – nurses, camp counselors, veterinarians, jugglers, whatever – were the unfortunate prey of some weapon-wielding madman.
The formula was already well worn by the time “He Knows You’re Alone” came out in 1980, but what makes this film superior is its execution.
The movie manages to maintain a looming sense of dread and panic as the killer gets closer and closer to his target. There are some nice scares, coupled with a great, screeching-keyboard soundtrack that will keep you engaged until the ultimate showdown.
Two things made “He Knows You’re Alone” particularly good:
The killer. You know he’s there. You know he’s coming. You know he won’t be easily stopped. No scary mask needed. This guy’s glare is enough to give you chills.
Tom Hanks. Who would’ve thought Forrest Gump would be the Socrates of horror. In his lone scene as Elliott the jogger, Hanks stands in line for the Scrambler ride at the fair and delivers a stirring soliloquy on the nature of fear. This is “Bosom Buddies” Hanks in all his awkward glory, espousing things like, “We like being scared because it allows us to face death without dying.” Sadly, Hanks does not suffer a ghastly fate at the hands of our bride-obsessed killer.
Rating: 4 out of 5 wedding gowns
Best line: “Oh, professor! You ain’t getting’ none until you get the lights back on.”
Best visual: Severed head in the fish tank
Best sound: Heavy breathing from somewhere in the dark where the killer is hiding
Notable location: Bridalwear store
Body count: 7
Most unusual death: Girl wearing headphones is unaware that a giant knife is drawing closer to her neck.
Comic relief: Tom Hanks at his “Bachelor Party” best is just unintentionally funny.
Worst horror movie cliché: “Why won’t anyone believe me? There really was a man out there. I saw him.”
What I’m watching next: “WrestleManiac,” in which a group of filmmakers is stalked by the ghost of a crazed, masked wrestler.