Let's look at another generic slasher from the '80s. Man, there were a lot of these.
This entry is 'He Knows You're Alone.'
Years after a bride-to-be is murdered on her wedding day by a jilted love, deaths start happening again. It's engaged women and police detective Len Gamble (Lewis Arlt), who was the groom-to-be for the initial victim, thinks the same madman is at it again.
In the present day, Amy (Caitlin O'Heaney) is engaged and wants to spend time with her friends before the big day. Ex-boyfriend Marvin (Don Scardino) is also in the picture and he wants to get back with Amy. Soon, Amy's friends and acquaintances start dropping like flies.
Is the initial nutbar at it again? Will anyone survive? Is it tasteless to return a gift if a murder occurs at the wedding?
The killer is never hidden or made a secret. He is quite out in the open, so much so, in fact, that there are times when he is just standing in an empty field, watching his intended victims. He even appears captured on camera stalking the women. That seems weird and a little stagey. Can't he play it cooler than that?
Much like the Driller Killer from the first 'Slumber Party Massacre,' this psycho isn't particularly scary or intimidating without his weapon. Here, he is just a guy with a knife. His motivation also bears scrutiny because why did he take years off before resuming his 'work'? Did he contemplate other career paths before deciding that homicidal psychopath was his true calling? Why did he target Amy's friends when they weren't in line to be married?
Some of the music owes a little bit of a debt to John Carpenter and his work on 'Halloween.' The dated keyboards aren't always effective and get a little silly at times. Like 'Halloween' almost all of the violence is subtle and not really gory. In the former film's case, it was classy and restrained. In this case, it comes across as though the budget didn't allow for such frivolities like fake blood or convincing kills.
It's unfortunate that the denouement seems very abrupt and is really anti-climactic. The setting had a lot of potential. Things are just wrapped up a little too neatly and less eventfully than one would hope. The very final scene is just tacked on and needlessly changes the resolution.
On the bright side, there are some influential scenes. Perhaps inspiring 'Scream 2,' it's not safe to be in a movie theater. Nevermind about the initial film in a film fakeout which is an annoying trait. There is also the now relatively commonplace head in a fishbowl scene. Whenever you have one of these movies and a large tank of water is emphasized, you just know it's going to happen. Not sure if this was the first instance, but it's notable, though shoddily done.
Look for Tom Hanks in his film debut. Yep. You read that right. He doesn't do much except say a few lines which don't contribute much. Paul Gleason is here in a pre-'Breakfast Club' role, and he gives us some expository info.
Special features include: a few trailers.
'He Knows You're Alone' isn't completely awful, but it isn't completely worthwhile, either. It comes across as cheaply-made and too dull to recommend.
Rated R 94 minutes 1980