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Plot:

Thanks to a major power cut, a gang of psychopaths breaks out of the Haven maximum security mental institute in order to lay siege to the psychiatrists who have tormented them over the years with their bizarre theories…

Also Known As: Απόδραση από τη Φωλιά του Κούκου, Sam u mraku, Одни во тьме Soviet, Apodrasi apo ti folia tou koukou, Nel buio da soli, Ensam i mörkret, Junk in the Dark, Noite de Pânico, Pavor na noite, Zwei Stunden vor Mitternacht West, Alone in the Dark, Alene i mørket, Solos en la oscuridad, Ausbruch der wilden Wölfe West, Alleen in het donker, Dément, Armoton yö

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  • roman-masek
    roman masek

    This movie is better than the title would suggest. There’s an amazing cast here, comprised of horror vet Donald Pleasance and general freak show actors Jack Palance and Martin Landau. This movie has the classic build…complete with outdoor autumnal New England scenery and estate views with insane-asylum setting and mood. Also, there’s the new-family-just-moved-in freaky vibe as well as a punk band concert scene tangent. All of which scream (with the help of a keyboard-laden soundtrack) early 1980’s. And not in the worst way. Martin Landau seems truly disturbed throughout the film. His performance alone is worth the watch. I felt Donald Pleasance was actually smoking alternative substances, which led him to an inspired performance as the doctor who is treating the patients, but who may need treatment of his own.Historical relevance: 8 Individual actor performance: 8.5 Overall quality: 6Jen’s Ultimate: 7

  • rhonda-gibson
    rhonda gibson

    ‘Alone in the Dark’ is an almost all but forgotten slasher from the heights of that era. It looks and feels almost identical to a Freddy or Jason flick(it should as Jack Shoulder is in the director’s chair). It is a movie that evokes all the Pavlovian responses of blood and spooky stuff. It’s a level above though and I think has a lot of cult campy fun awaiting viewers who seek it out. The script is way too much in it’s silliness and contrived story lines but ‘Alone in the Dark’ is absolutely blessed with a stellar cast. The likes of Jack Palance and Martin Landau fall into the roles of our killers. They make the film as does the familiar face of horror legend Donald Pleasance.Jack Palance and Martin Landau as our crazed psychos,I feel as I have to reiterate that. It sounds odd but it is absolute brilliant casting. Heck Palance’s presence practically could be a walking horror film in his mad intensity. Landau is having a blast too. He knows what this is and so he spends his time with his mad eyes glaring at the camera. I think had it been lesser character actors this thing would have not been able to find that right mix between too much and just enough silliness.Landau and Palance are brilliant but the main attraction of an already stacked cast is Donald Pleasance. Pleasance is very consciously parodying his Halloween role. There are moments of nonchalant deadpan macabre humor from Pleasance that are hilarious. There’s a moment where Pleasance gives the mad pyromaniac Landau a match that is just so beautifully understated in this mad world. The central premise though is kind of hard to get by in that it is so silly, (a mental institution harboring psychos is powered by electricity, a storm causes a black out and they just walk out the door). If the film had gone for a more comedic edge it may have worked but it just seems like too much of a glaring ‘Really?!’ even for this kind of movie.

  • dr-michael-lucas
    dr michael lucas

    I just finished a review for ‘Cruel Summer’ in which I pointed out the movie’s poster was utmost deceptive. 1982’s Alone in the Dark’s movie poster was just as misleading, but, oh so delicious.The difference is that this one’s purely fiction and fun-horror whereas Cruel Summer was supposedly based on true events, dark and, well, cruel. Now, that all said, it’s taken me nearly 40 years to finally get around to watching this “slasher” movie…and I’m a huge early 80s Slasher fan!Just to beat a dead horse, this poster, with the one jeaned-leg, bloody axe, moonlit night overlooking a cabin in the woods…brilliant and completely frightening. I love it. Unfortunately, as stated, it’s completely deceptive. This incredible movie was nothing like the slasher movie poster leads you to believe.A new doctor replaces the old one at a free-for-all insane asylum run by Michael Myers’ doctor. What separates us sane folk and these murderers is…electricity. So, what goes out in this semi-hippie, environmental messaged movie? Duh.The most dangerous patients, sorry “voyagers,” are kept on the 3rd floor and once the said electricity goes out, they go to terrorize the new doctor for “killing their last doctor,” or so they believe he did.Unbelievably, in an era (late 1970s to mid-1980s) of slasher movies, this movie had so many layers and surprises, good acting, interesting ideas, inventive gore and twists that I DID NOT SEE COMING even almost four decades later. I couldn’t help but be impressed with how advanced this movie was when cookie-cutter slasher movies were produced and released almost weekly back then.I waited a long time to see this, but you shouldn’t. If you are a fan of true horror and you haven’t seen New Line Cinema’s FIRST movie (a few years before Freddy put them on the map,) see this. NOW. In fact, enjoy the normal and YOUNG cameo of Lin Shaye, the mention of Freddy’s hometown and actual scares, twists and gore you would NOT see coming here. I don’t think I could recommend this more.***Final thoughts: THAT ALL SAID, again…what was with the Terminator ending? Sure, this was two years before the T-800 travelled back in time to the night club…but what was with the ending there? No spoilers…I’m legitimately confused.

  • kalashnikova-olimpiada-dmitrievna
    kalashnikova olimpiada dmitrievna

    Wow, what a freaky, funky, weirdo movie this is! Maybe I shouldn’t have watched it with a bad head cold, drugged up on Dimetapp. But anyway…The film opens with one of the best psychotic dream sequences I’ve ever seen in a movie. The Great Martin Landau is here, screaming himself awake in the midnight darkness of the mental institution where he has been confined. Hey, I might have a similar reaction if I’d just dreamed about a pot smoking Donald Pleasence quoting bible verses and eviscerating me a la Eddie Gein and Bernie in the woodshed! From here, the film only gets more surreal.A new doctor has come to work at the institution where Martin and his buddies are housed, and the occupants of the very disturbed violent ward on the Third Floor don’t like him. They’ve got it in their heads that he must have killed the previous doctor – a man they all liked – to get his job. And now we have established a motive. A blackout descends as our hero, his wife and his sister are at a concert, where the Sic F*ks are performing. Wow, and I thought the concert scene in the movie “Hobgoblins” was bad!!! These guys are an absurd cross between Gwar and Shonen Knife and were far scarier than the violent criminals who have escaped from the institution, aided by the power outage. They find their way to New Docs house and lay in wait. An obese child molester has a non-violent scene with the doctors daughter that will nevertheless have you squirming and saying “ew” a lot. Jack Palance is under the bed, having a good old time killing the bouncy babysitters boyfriend and then ramming a hunting knife up through the mattress and between her bare legs. And once the family gets home, sister and new boyfriend included, the carnage really begins!This is a seriously weird movie. I couldn’t take it seriously and instead decided to view it as a very black comedy. Maybe it was intended that way, I don’t know. It wasn’t bad, it was just very strange, with shaky performances by the hero and heroine(s) and strong, unsettling performances by the killers. The statement-on- our-disturbed-and-violent-society ending really had me shaking my head and saying “huh?” wondering if someone had sprinkled my cold medicine with LSD or something. But I have no regrets. The presence of Landau, Palance and Pleasence, more than make up for the sometimes implausible storyline (like, how the hell did the Jason Voorhees masked “Bleeder” just HAPPEN to get in with the mother and sister? It’s far fetched to say the least.) I give it 7 out of 10 stars.

  • matthew-mendoza
    matthew mendoza

    The psychiatric Dr. Dan Potter arrives in a new job in mental institution directed by Dr. Leo Bain (Donald Pleasance), who uses non-orthodox methods to heal his patients. The place has a third floor, a security place, where dangerous psychopaths are isolated through electrical devices. The dangerous Frank Hawkes (Jack Palance) convinces the also very dangerous Byron ‘Preacher’ Sutcliff (Martin Landau) and Ronald ‘Fatty’ Elster (Erland Van Lidth) that Dr. Dan killed their doctor to occupy his position in the asylum, and the trio promises to kill him. Dr. Dan and his family moves to a remote and isolate house, and while being visited by Dan’s sister, there is a power blackout in the area. The three psychopaths break out the asylum, kill many people, and go to Dr. Dan’s home to eliminate him. “Alone in the Dark” is a good low budget horror movie, with famous names in the cast. The story is very scary, but the weak point is the silly character of Donald Pleasance. His ridiculous character of Dr. Leo Bain looks crazier than the interns and almost becomes the story a comedy. However, Martin Landau and Erland Van Lidth are very scary and save the plot. Anyway, “Alone in the Dark” is a good entertainment, oscillating between a thriller and a slash movie. My vote is six.Title (Brazil): “Sozinho no Escuro” (“Alone in the Dark”)

  • karoline-mathiasen
    karoline mathiasen

    This here is one more American horror movie that reflects social issues and behavior patterns of a certain era (a truly interesting genre), in this case the early nineteen eighties. The main ‚target’ is a small young family in New Jersey. The father is a psychiatrist, who just started working at a lunatic asylum. He is some kind of bleeding heart liberal, down to driving a vintage Swedish SAAB model. The head of the asylum is even more ‚liberal’, he does not want to put the really dangerous cases in his custody behind bars. They can’t help it being dangerous, they are not insane, but voyagers, is his credo.Due to an incident in a nearby nuclear power station the wife and sister of the psychiatrist protested against (finding themselves promptly behind bars), the four most dangerous inmates can escape from the asylum. They get after the psychiatrist, because they think he killed his predecessor. Why? Just because they are insane. They set siege to his house, and from there the movie resembles Assault on Precinct 13.The story may sound simple and dumb, but it works very well. This is not least due to the first rate cast with many venerable thespians. Alone in the Dark is definitely a must-see for fans of Martin Landau. Here he found one of the only too rare occasions to show off his range as an actor. He plays a mad preacher with rolling eyes, swinging around a burning jacket or wielding a sharp instrument. At one point he appears at the doorstep of the psychiatrist’s house with a mailman’s cap on his head, saying he wants to deliver a telegram. His facial expression just conveys sheer insanity, an unforgettable moment.Basically, Alone in the Dark is a comedy or a social satire. There are some moments of gore, the suspense aspect is handled very well and in a rather parodic way. The movie and has a good rhythm of tension and subsequent relaxation. It contains a message which is pretty direct and comes through nicely: Some people are just dangerous and have to be kept away. It’s OK to search for the reasons of their condition and find possible ways for a cure, but they have to be kept away first.

  • damjan-kuhar
    damjan kuhar

    I saw this first on a VHS in the late 80s. Revisited it on a DVD recently. Its bah four psychopaths who escape from a mental institution and embark on a murder spree on a blackout night to kill their new doctor. A very bizarre openings in horror history. Very surrealistic. The explanation for this is given much later in the film when Donald Pleasence says what he said in Martin Landaus ears. Well its not your typical slasher from the 80s. Its more of a psychological drama/thriller. Sort of a lil Straw dogs n Halloween n home invasion films put together. Tension is there in the first act and then drops off in the second, only to pick up again in the third. The finale is good and will not disappoint. It features a very talented ensemble cast, Jack Palance (with his no nonsense facial expressions who thinks he is on a vacation while being in a mental institution). Martin Landau (whos at his creepy, grinning, crazy-eyed best). Lin Shaye of Insidious n Dead end fame in a tiny role. Donald Pleasence as the head of the institution. This film is noteworthy for having one of its killers don a hockey mask before Jason ever did so in a Friday the 13th film.

  • gregoire-theodore-da-silva
    gregoire theodore da silva

    Mediocre slasher film finds escaped mental patients terrorizing their doctor and his family. Strong echoes of John Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13″ in the last half of the film. Some similarites can be spotted in the setup, as well. To bad the writers couldn’t borrow some suspense.”Alone in the Dark” does provide a few good scares. For example, the knife through the bed scene; as well as the daughter’s first encounter with one of the psychopaths. Until then, however, it’s very boring. Overall, a very predictable and forgettable film. If you’re a big slasher fan, or if you like Donald Pleasance, then you might enjoy this. Everyone else is advised to stay clear.

  • laura-weaver
    laura weaver

    Alone In The Dark is nothing special but isn’t horrendous either. It’s basically just a slasher that tried to be different. One difference is that instead of one killer, there’s three. The film dabbles with psychology and suggests that psychopaths are not so “different” from us after-all, because we too would kill under certain circumstances. There is quite a good end scene when the psychopath decides not to kill as he believes he no longer has reason to. There are a couple of tense moments thrown in, a few deaths, but barely any gore.Overall I wouldn’t call ALone In The Dark a special film, it’s watchable, but doesn’t have that certain ‘edge’ to make it unique enough.

  • ramon-cerezo-sola
    ramon cerezo sola

    One of the worst horror/horror-comedies I’ve ever seen. So bad it’s bad. Marin Landau laughing and walking slowly isn’t scary. Neither is Jack…..*long pause*……….Palance. Also not scary whatsoever is the fat guy from The Running Man. You know the opera guy.This movie can’t decide if it wants to be a full out horror movie or a horror/comedy. It’s really, really, really bad. I think a 3/10 score is being kind. It’s not scary at all but also not funny at all. It’s cool to see Murdock from the A-Team in the movie. I’m amazed they were able to convince Donald Pleasance to be in it. And how did they get Martin Landau? His performance in this movie is one of cinema’s all time worst, it’s laughable (not in a good way though). Martin Landau: “Hahahahaha! *smile*.” How hard can that be? Not very creative. Avoid, there’s no reason to see this turkey (I saw it to see Jack Palance).

  • dr-varga-szabo-erzsebet
    dr varga szabo erzsebet

    What do you get when you add the following: wide scale blackout, 4 escaped lunatics, a family consisting of a stupid psychiatrist, a brat girl, a punk-rocker sister, and a few other idiots, widespread riots, and a lieutenant that wants to do something but is killed before he can? If I had spent half of the movie caring I would be able to tell you, but I am sorry, I was busy crying over the wasted $1.50. There is supposedly suspense in this, but how can there be suspense when you don’t give a rats crap about anyone in the film? Most horror movies at least have a few really good looking teenagers who you care about because they look good and you don’t want them to get killed, but the only good looking girl in this gets cut out pretty quickly! After that we have nothing to offer. Even the good acting of Donald Pleasance and Jack Palance are hopeless in saving this movie.

  • antonio-baptista
    antonio baptista

    Four mentally deranged psychopaths / deviants (Jack Palance and Martin Landau among them) bust out of a progressive mental health facility run by a equally nutty doctor (Donald Pleasance) during a blackout. They intend to kill their new doctor after they get the idea that their original doctor was killed by the new one instead of just transferring somewhere else. This way above average slasher is a lot of fun. All the actors do a wonderful job in their roles. Highly recommended to slasher fans and haters alike. S10 Says: Acting: 8 / 10 Direction: 8 / 10 Writing: 8 / 10 Photography: 8 / 10 Production Design: 7 / 10 The Sound: 8 / 10 Music: 8 / 10 Scares / Thrills / the Gore Zone: 7 / 10 Fun Value: 8 /10 Overall: 70 / 100

  • evelien-doesburg
    evelien doesburg

    Alone In The Dark is only unfortunate because it now shares the same name as the Uwe Boll crap-fest from last year. The original Alone In The Dark had nothing to do with the video game and in fact was a unique and well made horror slasher that followed some of the revolutionary horror films that were shaping slasher flicks (ie: Halloween, Friday The 13th) in the early eighties. The killers in the film were a unique and interesting group that I can’t believe didn’t get serialized to death!! Not only that but two of the actors were main stream big name, great actors!! The film even features a twist at the end the likes of M. Night Shyamalan which you honestly don’t see coming. I mean the film at times is typical and a little predictable but isn’t that what slasher films are all about?? One of the big reasons to watch the film is the character played by the late great Donald Pleasance, a Halloween Alumni and so many other terrific horror and drama films. This was an interesting role for Pleasance as Dr. Leo Bain, a revolutionary doctor who was determined not to put a tag on the inmates at his asylum. He calls them Voyagers who are just an a journey back to sanity. He allows them to get away with things, and doesn’t really treat them any differently than any normal person. Bain is almost a villain in some ways. He’s casual and a bit of a hippie with a free spirited attitude, completely different from Pleasance’s role as Dr. Sam Loomis in Halloween. Pleasance does a great job and although he doesn’t carry the film his role is quite good. Dwight Schultz plays the lead as new doctor to the asylum Dan Potter. He’s moved his wife and daughter for this job and is determined to do his best. Of course Schultz is best known for his role as the slightly deranged “Howling Mad” Murdock of the A-Team, however his role as Dan Potter is far more calm and together. Like Pleasance this role is a very different one for Schultz and he does a good job in it. Although a little placid for being the lead character he’s still good at leading man status on the big screen. Deborah Hedwall, Lee Taylor-Allan, and Elizabeth Ward do a good job as Schultz’s family Nell, Toni, and Lyla Potter. His young daughter played by Ward is stronger than almost any other character when the psychos are attacking them in their home. She’s almost too strong for a little girl but it’s a very different side of things. Now the real stars of the films…the psychos. Oscar Winner Jack Palance plays the self imposed leader of the killers Frank Hawkes. Hawkes is quite and disturbed, a strong man with a thirst for eliminating anything in his way. Palance has an incredible ability to make you see a quiet psychosis in his character. You almost feel for his completely morally corrupt character. Fellow Oscar Winner Martin Landau plays The Preacher, Byron Sutcliff who has a knack and thirst for burning things to cleanse their sins. Landau is completely deranged and probably the worst of all of them. His wild eyed, disturbing portrayal of The Preacher is excellent. Erland van Lidth plays Fatty, the brutally strong and large child molester who thumps around and destroys everything in his path. He too shows a more quiet and disturbing psychosis and his scene opposite Elizabeth Ward when he tries to get her to go upstairs with him is completely disturbing. Finally you have The Bleeder…I can’t tell you who plays The Bleeder…it would ruin the film but I can say although you don’t see him often as The Bleeder that when he shows himself your jaw will drop. He also is infamous for grabbing a hockey mask during his escape to get out of the asylum…this film was released the same year as another famous psycho was grabbing a hockey mask in Friday The 13th 3. So who came first?? Technically Jason Voorhees as Friday The 13th Part 3 was released in August of 1982, whereas Alone In The Dark was November of 1982.Alone In The Dark breaks a lot of the horror film mold set in stone by others. First of all there isn’t a lot of really gory kills, in fact some of it is more implied than it is shown. Second of all the main characters don’t get killed off one by one. They are decently smart, and fight back and WIN!! The horror in the film is more based on the fact that a family is trapped in their own home, no electricity with a foursome of deranged killers stalking them from the outside. Director Jack Sholder made a different kind of slasher flick. He also went on to direct one of the Nightmare On Elm Street installments. Alone In The Dark drags a little more than it should and is very low budget, low budget to the point where special effects are almost non existent. It’s nothing spectacular but for an early eighties horror gem…you have gotta see it!! 7/10

  • bostjan-kolar
    bostjan kolar

    Alone in the Dark (1982) is an underrated horror classic. Where else can you find the great character actors Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau and Jack Palance in one movie? All three in their hammy glory chewing scenery and over acting to the Nth degree. The tale as about a new psych doctor (Animal from the A-Team) who must deal with his new “clients”. Ever since their favorite doc disappeared, the natives have become restless. But during a freak weather storm, the three goons decide to leave the hospital and seek out the good doctor and his family. What happens next? Oh, that would be telling.The three inmates (Landau, Palance and the bald dude from Stir Crazy) are great. It’s a toss up between Martin and Jack on who get’s the award for most over the top performance in this one. Jack is very restrained and eerily creepy whilst Martin is just plain bonkers, we’re talking full tilt boogie madness. A couple of effective kills and a wonderful performance by the cast make this one a winner. Hard to find. I wish they put this classic out on D.V.D. The original video cover and theatrical poster is a one of a kind gem. Recommended for horror fans.

  • tayyip-ergul
    tayyip ergul

    With Jack Palance and Martin Landau hamming it up as two of four escaped mental patients, and Donald Pleasence as their batty psychiatrist, “Alone in the Dark” remains one of few low budget horror films with a genuine sense of humor. During the blackout, watch the way they argue like a real family, and listen to Pleasence’s nutty philosophizing. This is no ordinary horror flick.

  • dalia-rael
    dalia rael

    Four dangerous psychopaths (two played by Jack Palance and Martin Landau) easily escape from an asylum run by a VERY liberal doctor (Donald Pleasance) during a blackout. They proceed to terrorize a doctor (Dwight Schultz), his wife, their little daughter, the doctor’s sister (who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown) and a stranger. And the electricity is out, the phone lines are cut and the house is completely isolated…I saw this in a theatre in 1982 and it scared me silly. It had me jumping and two sequences (one involving a baby sitter on a bed and the other with blood dripping on a woman’s face) had me cringing. Seeing it over 20 years later, it’s not as scary but still is an above average horror film.The film moves quickly, there are nice directorial touches from Jack Sholder (who went on to direct “Nightmare on Elm Street 2”) and it has an above average cast–Pleasance seems a little embarrassed but Palance is good and Landau is clearly enjoying himself. There are quite a few scary moments, a good spooky score and the final half hour is an all out assault on the family. Also it’s pretty restrained in terms of gore.But there are huge gaps in logic which I didn’t notice the first time and I really did not need a sequence where it is insinuated that a little girl has been molested. Also the young girl of the family is the most annoying little brat I’ve ever seen–I was desperately hoping she’d get knocked senseless just to shut her up. And it really has no ending.Still, if you ignore the plot holes this film really can work on you. Best seen at night, in a dark room…and all alone:)

  • eomsangho
    eomsangho

    Hey, in this movie The A-Team’s “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock is the SANE one, being terrorized by crazy Oscar winners Martin Landau and Jack Palance while a trippy Donald Pleasance wanders around in an opium haze in this acceptable horror movie that features a few poorly-directed “suspence” sequences, a terrible stage show by “The Sic F*cks” complete with big cardboard axes, a hot sex scene featuring a character called “Bunky”, some bad eighties fashions, a brief appearance by a Tom Savini-designed ghoul, a mailman getting run down by a stoner van, the “tongue excersizes” woman from “Kingpin”, a killer in a hockey mask, a cool rioting scene, a guy broken over another guy’s knee, crossbow-killings, and a lovable big fat child moleser.So why not?

  • sergey-kabaskalyan
    sergey kabaskalyan

    Jack Palance, Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau, Dwight Schultz, Erland Van Lidth and Phillip Clark star in this 1982 horror film. Schultz plays Dan Potter, a doctor who comes to work at a mental hospital with Dr. Leo Bain (Pleasence) and gets to know his unbalanced patients, Frank Hawkes (Palance), Byron ‘Preacher’ Sutcliff (Landau) and Ronald ‘Fatty’ Elster (Van Lidth). Soon, the 3 patients escape during a power blackout that occurs all over town and go after Potter because they think he got rid of their former doctor. Potter learns of their deadly intentions and tries to protect his family when they arrive at his house. Clark plays Tom Smith who is revealed to be other escaped patient, Skaggs. This isn’t a bad horror flick with a good cast I recommend.

  • kasper-jacobsen-hermansen
    kasper jacobsen hermansen

    Jack Sholder constructed this ambitious addition to the slasher genre with such a wonderfully demented sense of humor by combining off-beat dialog with the standard body count formula. Donald Pleasence runs a liberal home for the insane where the patients are “free” to walk about with very little restraint except for the walls and doors themselves. Dr. Dan Potter (Dwight Shultz) is a new doctor who’s hired as a replacement for the last head-shrinker who moved to Philadelphia. The patients of the 3rd floor (Martin Landau in a hilarious performance as Boyd The Preacher, who set fire to churches, Jack Palance as a paranoid schizophrenic ex-colonel, and Erland van Lidth as an obese child molester), believe that Potter murdered his predecessor, and after a full-scale power-outage ensues, the wackos take advantage of their opportunity to escape and launch an assault on Potter’s family. The first half of this twisted tale is played out for laughs as we’re introduced to the patients at the institute by Donald Pleasence (who’s character is as crazy as they are). Landau, Palance and Lidth are great as the murderous band of nut cases, but then this becomes just another “trapped-in-the-house” slasher film that effortlessly lags, at least until the power comes back on, and then the film meets an unsatisfying and abrupt cut-off ending. Nonetheless, this is funny and entertaining for genre fans as well as Landau and Palance completists.

  • dean-rose
    dean rose

    That high concept title tells you a lot of what you need to know about this film.Alone in the Dark has a great cast that’s strangely underused, and its derivativeness and slight lack of spark make it an eternal underling to much better films, but it’s still worth seeing for many reasons.Donald Pleasance–the one of three stellar cast members who is almost not underused–turns in a typically, wonderfully goofy performance as a famed psychiatrist. He’s heading an asylum, he’s a bit crazy himself, he’s fond of smoking weed, and he has experimental techniques, which turn out to be dangerous considering that he has a criminally insane ward. The two very underused actors are Martin Landau and especially Jack Palance, who are both members of the aforementioned ward.Problems begin when the New Jersey town that houses the asylum experiences a blackout, allowing the patients to escape–if Donald Pleasance as a psychiatrist isn’t strong enough to suggest a Halloween film, this scene of escaping loonies certainly is. This leads to the Night of the Living Dead-styled scenes, which are a lot of fun.I suppose I can see how someone would find this film a mess–it does change gears frequently and doesn’t worry very much about continuity or even coherence, but anyone who is a fan of these actors, or asylum films, or any of the many horror films referenced (including some playful jabs at the Friday the 13th films) should get a lot of enjoyment out of Alone in the Dark. There’s a high camp factor throughout, including the scenes of going to a club to see a band called The Sick F*cks.In some ways, it almost feels like producer Robert Shaye and director Jack Sholder–the same team that brought us A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 a couple years later–got a hold of this cast, some money and some time and just started making things up on the spot, seeing how much fun they could have and how crazy they could get while still producing a marketable horror/thriller film. While that’s not likely to produce a masterpiece, and it certainly didn’t, it did result in a film that’s a hoot to watch, especially late at night or on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

  • gangjieun
    gangjieun

    I don’t know why I hesitated with this one. I guess I just always said I would rent it and didn’t. Finally, a few nights ago, I just got it. And I must say, I liked it.Set in New Jersey, my lovely state, a power outage in town releases four psychotic inmates of a mental institution, held in their own floor by electricity-controlled doors. Interesting twist. Before that, they had formed a grudge against their new doctor, Dan Potter, who they have convinced themselves as the killer of their old, beloved doctor, who has actually just transferred to somewhere else.Also, Dan’s slightly wacky younger sister Toni comes to stay with the family, and had recently recovered from a breakdown. Nonetheless, she is quite an interesting character, and joins the Potter family as the innocents in the attack towards the end of the movie.The movie has a good setup, and some very creepy moments, especially when the child victimizer shows up at the home and pretends to be the daughter, Layla’s, babysitter. Later on, of course, the real babysitter, Bunky, shows up, as does her boyfriend, and are taken out in some quite suspenseful scenes.The best part of the movie, though, is when the psychopaths show up and attack the Potter home, and all inside. This includes a detective, Dan and his wife Nell, Toni and Layla, and a man Toni and Nell met at a protest and invited to stay for dinner. There is a very scary jump-out-of-your-seat moment, where some of Toni’s old “ghosts” from her past haunt her once again. And, in one very good scene, is a scene of retaliation of the family, and shows a very interesting scene where Nell is struggling to get herself to stab the attacking killer, while Dan hollers at her, “Stab him!” Not to mention the fact that Nell has a really great scream. And she isn’t the scream queen type. But her scream is perfect.I don’t want to give away too much, but see this movie. All the performances are good, and the characters are likable. A fun movie, too, especially towards the last quarter of the movie, during the attack. I recommend not hesitating like I did and getting this.

  • daniela-cermakova
    daniela cermakova

    The story = Dan Potter (Dwight Shultz) is a new doctor at an asylum run by the wacky Dr. Leo Bain (Donald Pleasence). Inmates Hawkes (Jack Palance), Preacher (Martin Landau), Fatty ( the late Erland van Lidth), and the Bleeder (Phil Clark) believe Potter killed their old doctor and vow revenge. The gang escapes when a massive blackout strikes New Jersey. As the Potter family prepare for a quiet candle lit dinner with friends, the psychopaths move in for the kill.In Alone In The Dark the director Jack Sholder creates a great deal of suspense, tension and action in this slightly odd slasher, All of the characters are either oddballs, lunatics, or both. The script (written by Sholder, Robert Shaye, and Mike Harpster) is filled with funny dialogue and a few twists.The incredible cast contributes a large portion of the goofy charm surrounding this slasher. Most of the acting is completely over the top, but Palance and Landau still manage to bring menace to their characters. One wonders if Pleasence is really acting in his scenes involving a pipe and “exotic herbs”. Slasher fans won’t mistake Dr. Bain for Dr. Loomis. Dwight Schultz, who later became famous as a member of the A-Team, is good as the young doctor who learns violence is the only way to deal with some threats.All in all Alone In The Dark is a definite must see for any Slasher fans with an interesting storyline great actors such as horror veteran Donald Pleasence and Jack Palance and gripping scenes that will keep you hooked all the way through.

  • ovchinnikova-oksana-tarasovna
    ovchinnikova oksana tarasovna

    The debut film of B movie director Jack Sholder, and one of the first films from New Line Cinema, is this highly entertaining and strikingly intelligent little thriller.When the power fails in a New Jersey community, four murderously insane men walk out of a mental facility and head for the home of their new doctor!Although it was lost among the numerous slasher films of the early 80’s, Alone in the Dark is one of the smartest killer thrillers of the genre. Sholder delivers an above-average story all the way. He has one especially bizarre opening sequence, then follows with a plot that grows more intense through out. The film builds to a great claustrophobic climax, and then a memorable (and some what humorous) conclusion. The story packs some solid suspense, heated violence, and the occasional good jolt. One thing that really sets this tale above that of the average slasher flick is the fact that the films characters are believably well-rounded and even quirky at times. Yet another unique element of this story is the fact that it has a splendid kind of dark humor toward the idea of ‘mental health’. It’s almost a satire on the subject. Sholder’s direction is quite good, giving some tight action sequences and well-timed shocks. Also good is the unique music score of Renato Serio.Another thing that sets this film above the norm is the wonderful cast which includes a number of veteran actors. Jack Palance is excellent in his role as the leader of the crazed villains. Donald Pleasence is a welcomed trip as a ‘different’ kind of psychologist. Martin Landau makes for a perfectly creepy madman. The supporting cast, namely Dwight Schultz, are great as well.Alone in the Dark is an outstanding slasher-thriller. For those seeking a slasher movie with a brain, it’s a perfect choice.*** 1/2 out of ****

  • tarmo-uustalu
    tarmo uustalu

    Four dangerous patients from a mental institution escape one evening and go after their doctor in “Alone in the Dark”. Dr. Dan Potter is just starting his job at an high security/high-tech asylum, run by Donald Pleasence’s character Dr. Bain. He is assigned to four of the most dangerous men at the asylum; “the preacher” who sets fires to churches with people in them, “the bleeder” who gets nosebleeds after each time he kills someone, “Fatty” who is a child molester and an interesting fellow named Frank Hawkes. They believe that Dan Potter murdered their old doctor, someone they trusted and valued very much. So they set out to murder Dan and anyone that gets in their way including his wife, sister and daughter. A city wide blackout gives the four men a perfect escape as they trap the Potter family inside of their new house in this early eighties chiller.I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Alone in the Dark’. It is like a slasher film, but has a lot of smarts to it as well as a good story. There is tons of character development in this on as well, which only makes the viewers feel for the characters and want them to survive. Each character has their own personality, and the actors play it very well. Donald Pleasence plays the doctor who runs the asylum, but he appears to be just as deranged as some of the patients. It has a “Don’t Look in the Basement” feel to it. The character Toni (Dan’s sister) spent time in an institution recently, so it doesn’t do her any good going through this attack by the escaped patients. Martin Landau, Jack Palance and Erland Van Lidth give brilliant performances as the patients. I also thought Deborah Hedwall (who played Dan’s wife) was superb in the supporting role as well. There is also a subplot going on throughout the film; who and where is “the bleeder”? When the four men escape, he takes off from the group leaving us to wonder where he went. Well let me tell you, we find out all about the bleeder in one terrifying scene that left me shocked! Overall, ‘Alone in the Dark’ is a creepy little eighties horror flick with some good scares and interesting twists/turns. Check this out!8/10

  • maria-julia-cardoso
    maria julia cardoso

    “Alone in the Dark” centers on a small New Jersey community, where Dr. Dan Potter is assigned to work as a new doctor at “The Haven”, a mental institution outside of town, run by Dr. Leo Bain (Donald Pleasance). The third floor of the institution homes a group of very insane, murderous men, who are under careful watch. But when a blackout occurs and the entire area loses it’s electricity, the electrical powering that keeps the men behind closed doors is of no help. The murderous men escape from the Haven, and head towards town, where they begin a murderous rampage before reaching Dr. Potter’s new home.Not to be confused with the 2005 creature horror flick of the same name, “Alone in the Dark” boasts a fairly unique premise that hasn’t been used (town crazies let loose to wreak havoc on the city after an electrical shortage). If you ask me, I thought this was a fairly original idea for a horror movie, and a clever one at that; taking into consideration the time this film was made, this was a fresh idea. The problem here is that the film lags quite a bit, and really for no good reason really; one would think character development would fall in place here, but not really. It plods around aimlessly for about 45 minutes before really kicking in, which was a bit of a disappointment, because, if written better, this could have been a much more frightening movie. The idea of lunatics sieging a local house during a blackout is terrifying – it’s too bad this film wasn’t.Aside from that, it does have some positives. For one, the acting is quite good. Donald “Dr. Loomis” Pleasance plays the lead doctor of the institution perfectly, in a role that is similar to his in the “Halloween” series, but a bit different. Martin Landau and Jack Palance play a couple of the town psychos flawlessly – they’re menacing but strangely funny as well, and this balance works. There are a couple of nice scare sequences (including the babysitter and her boyfriend in the bed ordeal), and above all, this film does manage to be fairly entertaining despite its dragging feet. The ending is also quite quirky, but it flows with the rest of the film’s tone and was a nice little laugh to end on.Overall, “Alone in the Dark” is a slightly above-average horror/thriller that is worth seeing at least once. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the premise, quirky campiness, and decent acting make it a watchable horror movie. It’s not your usual slasher flick, and for that I have to give it some credit. Not bad, not great, but just above the usual, if not a little different from. Worth a rental, you may enjoy it. 6/10.