Alone in the Dark (1982)

Alone in the Dark




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This is a very enjoyable tongue-in-cheek horror film about some homicidal maniacs who break out of an asylum and terrorize a psychiatrist's family on a dark and stormy night. Martin Landau and Jack Palance are particularly funny, but there are some genuine scares as well. One scene, in which a frightened woman is menaced on her bed by a maniac thrusting a butcher-knife up through the mattress, is a clever send-up that will nevertheless linger in the memory. The coda, in which the crazy Palance … More

Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Robert Shaye, Jack Sholder
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 13, 2005
New Line Cinema

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as Frank Hawkes

as Dr. Leo Bain

as Byron 'Preacher' Sut...

as Dr. Dan Potter

as Ronald `Fatty' Elste...

as Nell Potter

as Tom Smith / Skaggs

as Tonie Potter

as Ray Curtis

as Marissa Hall

as Receptionist at Have...

as Spaced-out Girl at C...

as Dr. Harry Merton

as Jim Gable

as Woman Voyager

as Cursing Voyager

as Voyager

as Club Manager

as Cop at House

as Tom Smith/Skaggs
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Critic Reviews for Alone in the Dark

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 31, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

A morbid and utterly mind bending little thriller...

Full Review… | June 8, 2013
Cinema Crazed

The movie's tongue-in-bloody-cheek satire of psychobabble sets it apart.

Full Review… | April 9, 2007

The premise isn't plausible and Palance, Landau and Pleasence deserve more screen time, but this has enough off-beat and darkly comic moments to make it passable. And the final scene is a hoot.

March 24, 2007

Audience Reviews for Alone in the Dark

Interesting Slasher using the traditional atmosphere and suspense elements to tell the story, Alone in the Dark is really one of those films that separates itself from the pack and offers a true, tense and horrifying viewing experience. The film does have plenty of bloodletting, but is much different because it has a good mix of suspense and actual scares intertwined with the killings. There's a good film here, one that is very underrated and is actually one of the better Slasher films of the early 80's. This is a smart film in the genre, one that doesn't go overboard on the blood or gore. Director Jack Sholder keeps everything together with a fine suspenseful atmosphere, a well written script and a good cast of talented actors. Fans of the genre should check out this somewhat obscured horror gem. If you're looking for a well executed Slasher film, then this film is for you. The standouts of the film are the three main actors, Jack Palance, Martin Landau and Dwight Schultz. They really are menacing and perfect as psychos. This is one of those films that were basically forgotten among the countless Slashers films the 80's. However if you must come across it, give it a shot. The films tense, suspenseful atmosphere really adds something unique to this film. Along with Just Before Dawn, Alone in the Dark goes a different direction in the Slasher genre, one that shows that the genre has more to offer than the standard hack and slash elements. Though far from perfect, this film still is a must see for fans looking an atmospheric Slasher film to watch. This film mixes very well done tense scenes with everything you'd expect from the genre. There's always something going on, on-screen to keep you entertained and even with its flaws, it's one good film, worth watching.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Probably the best movie I've seen during this marathon. 'Alone in the Dark' is trenchant, intelligent and gleefully pulpy with Oscar-winning actors at their scenery-chewing maximum. Martin Landau, with glassy eyes and a Grinch-like smile, quotes scriptures as if he were on high and the simple task of wishing someone "happy trails" is an uproariously strained feat for Jack Palance's powder keg Frank who ladles menace during quiet walks through a mental asylum's courtyard. Sholder, who directed the underrated 'Nightmare on Elm Street 2', is a powerhouse director and writer who deftly explores the wayward perception that people moshing to a band named "The Sick Fucks" is more insane than the tranquil innards of the institution. The best scapegoat for a parody of psychological coddling is Pleasance who labels the inmates' rampage as a "cry for help". Sholder posits that armchair psychiatrists prefer pat, non-threatening rationalizations with the John Locke view that humans are "inherently good". Thought-provoking and flamboyant visceral, 'Alone in the Dark' is a marvelous thriller that shouldn't be as misbegotten as it has been.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

It began with potential it ended very dissapointing. What a shame

Wahida K

Super Reviewer

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