He Knows You're Alone

Or He Knows You're Copying.  Normally this would be unfair, because all of the slasher films of the eighties copied from the formula laid out very plainly by John Carpenter's Halloween.  Even Halloween was an homage to Italian Giallo films by Mario Bava and Dario Argento, but he took those somewhat complex plotlines and cut them down to the bare essentials.  Ironically enough, the slasher films that followed the wake of Halloween couldn't simplify enough and became more complex in trying to render a killer.

Lets put some slashers in order here, we'll start off at Halloween and work our way to He Knows You're Alone released in September of 1980..

Each of these films copied the prototype but did not replicate it.  He Knows features an unmasked killer whose motivation is killing brides to be, which sounds completely different from Halloween and as far as plot and quality goes, it is.  Scenes are blatantly stolen here such as: Laurie Strode backing into Michael in the house of horrors, then fleeing while Michael stalks after her and closes in while she desperately tries to get back into the Doyle house.  In He Knows, Amy our 'final girl' finds her friend Nancy's head in a fish tank and backs into Ray Carlton (our killer).  She then flees the house with Ray closing in.  She tries desperately to get into her own car, then desperately to get it started with Ray nearly cutting into her.  When she gets the car moving, Ray continuously stabs the windshield with a bendable plastic knife - which would be funny if it wasn't so sad.  The music that plays over this 'suspenseful scene' is nearly an exact duplicate of Carpenter's score - using that single strike of the keys that resonates fear and pierces you.  Here the score doesn't match up to the fumbled intensity that tries to be scary.  This can be said about the entire film.

There is one saving grace to this clumsily executed rip-off and that is a small role played by Tom Hanks.  This was as we've researched his first part and he gives us a self referential monologue on fear and catharsis especially in relation to horror films.

Unless you're like us and obsessively need to see every slasher film, we don't recommend this one.

Here is the one good scene in the film:

Rating: I/V


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