Alice Sweet Alice (also known as Communion or Holy Terror) is a 1976 independent American horror slasher film directed by Alfred Sole, and starring Linda Miller, Paula Sheppard, and Brooke Shields. Alice Sweet Alice came out in the theaters three different times under three different titles, the first in 1976 as Communion, 1978 as Alice Sweet Alice and Holy Terror in 1981. This was Brook Shields first acting role. Alice Sweet Alice is 98 minutes long, however the Unrated version runs at 108 minutes.
Alice Sweet Alice takes place in the early 1960’s and is set in Paterson, New Jersey. Alice Spages (Paula E. Sheppard) is jealous of her sister Karen (Brooke Shields) for getting most of the attention from their mother Catherine (Linda Miller). Alice Spages lives in her own little world and she violently gets upset whenever her mom is not giving her enough attention. One day during their first communion in the church, Karen is found brutally murdered. The 12-year-old Alice becomes the first suspect in the tragic murder of her sister. Alice is sent away to a troubled girl’s home and soon more killings start happening. Questions still remain even though Alice is the leading suspect, of whether such a young girl despite her obvious psychiatric disturbances in her mind can be a killer.
Alice Sweet Alice: The Review
Alice Sweet Alice is a creepy film with lots of atmosphere. The film has mystery elements in it that are comparable to Italian Giallo horror films such as “Don’t Torture a Duckling” (1972). A lot of Catholic religious imagery is used in Alice Sweet Alice, which is a big part of the story. Innocence and guilt also plays a large factor in this film. Loss of childhood is a motif touched upon in Alice Sweet Alice. Alfred Sole’s directing ability is excellent as he keeps you interested despite the dreary atmosphere and somewhat slow pace of this film. The performance by Paula Sheppard as Alice is very creepy and somewhat disturbing. She was the best part of this film.
You can tell by her performance that she is a very talented actress. Paula Sheppard for some reason only did two films. The only other performance by her was in Liquid Sky (1982). I never have seen it so I’m not familiar with it. She is dead now from what I read. There is quite a disturbing scene that involves her and the fat guy Mr. Alphonso (Alphonso DeNoble) that a lot of people will find inappropriate. Paula Sheppard was 19 when she did Alice Sweet Alice. The mask she wears with the yellow raincoat in Alice Sweet Alice adds to the creepiness. There’s not much to say about Brooke Shields performance since she had hardly any screen time in this one.
The horror elements in this film are very brutal. With at least three killings that are very graphic and bloody. The staircase slashing of Aunt Annie (Jane Lowry) is very graphic. You can see and hear true horror in her face and her agonizing screams, as she loses lots of blood and becomes extremely pale. Some black humor can be found in Alice Sweet Alice like when Alice is talking to her perverted neighbor Mr. Alphonso and says to him, “What’s wrong fatty?” “Stuck in the chair?” I also thought the song playing on the radio during the killing of Mr. Alphonso was funny sounding and seemed out of place in such a brutal murder scene. Alice is a very unlikable character and is pretty much a brat. There are actually two killers in Alice Sweet Alice. You will have to figure it out by watching the film. Alice Sweet Alice is a classic shocker of a horror film that is a bit forgotten. It has a good creepy score as well.
Alice Sweet Alice Review: Done by Rancel
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