Mr. William Nightshade Reviews Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)

Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,

Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “Alice, Sweet Alice” finds fresh faced Karen killed and her sister the central suspect.

When a plot centers on a group of kids it is possible for the acting to hit the skids but this film does have cause to boast because the performances here are better than most.  The impression Alice makes is sure to last because she is so perfectly cast and when she puts on that creepy mask the effect is more than any horror fan could ask.  The adults prove to be a fairly mixed bag from the perfect Alphonso to the annoying aunt hag so but I did as any decent reviewer should and struggled through the bad to get to the good.

The music at times felt very iconic so I have to admit I find it ironic that I cannot recall a single note anymore because the inferior moments bogged down the score.  What I do recall, and it is worth a mention, is that the soundtrack helped to heighten the tension but the music quickly left my mind because there was no iconic theme to get behind.  It really does make me sad that certain sections are so bad since during an earlier scene I thought the soundtrack might rival “Halloween”.

Catholicism serves as a central theme and plays heavily into the murder scheme so those unfamiliar or less devout may not figure the symbolism out. Those who are cut from the Catholic cloth may find this movie puts them off as it portrays Catholics with derision and mocks religious fanaticism.  At this point I have to interject a critique, which is that the humor is not so much funny as bleak.

Hitchcock serves as an inspiration with both the cinematography and the sense of isolation.  In fact if one was to keep an eye on the background a poster of “Psycho” can be found. Be warned that while Hitchcock kept his violence obscure they do not shy away from blood in this picture.

Story/Concept: 2
Direction/Style: 2
Scares: 1
Atmosphere: 1
Rewatchability: 1
TOTAL: 7/10 

In brief, this is often categorized as an American giallo but one can see the template many slasher movies would follow.

Stick to the shadows my fine friends.

Sincerely,
Mr. William Nightshade