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..
- 1978 Toolbox Murders (released the same year as Halloween)
- 1979 Alien (yes, it's a slasher film in space)
- 1979 When A Stranger Calls
- 1980 Don't Answer The Phone (February)
- 1980 Friday The 13th (May)
- 1980 Prom Night (July)
- 1980 Dressed To Kill (July)
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: