Alice Sweet Alice Review: Done by Rancel
Alice Sweet Alice is a 1976 independent horror slasher film directed by Alfred Sole, and starring Linda Miller, Paula Sheppard, and Brooke Shields. It came out in the theaters 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 is set in the early 1960’s and takes place 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 lives in her own world and violently gets upset whenever her mom is not giving her the attention she needs. 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 murder of her sister. She is sent away to a troubled girl’s home and more killings start happening. Alice is the leading suspect because of her psychiatric disturbances. There is skepticism due to her young age though.
Alice Sweet Alice is a creepy film with lots of atmosphere. The film has a air of mystery throughout. It leaves the possibility that there were two killers involved in the murders. A lot of Catholic religious imagery is on display. It happens to be a big part of the story. Innocence and guilt also play a large factor. The subject of loss of childhood is an obvious theme. Alfred Sole’s directing ability is excellent as he keeps you interested despite the dreary atmosphere and slow pace. Paula Sheppard is very creepy and disturbing as the young Alice. She was the best part of the film. Such a nasty evil little girl.
You can tell from her performance that she is a very talented actress. Paula Sheppard only has two acting roles to her credit. Her other performance was in Liquid Sky (1982). I never have seen it so I’m not familiar with it. She is now dead from what I read. There is 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 acted in this movie. The mask she wears with the yellow raincoat in Alice Sweet Alice adds to the creepiness. I can’t say much about Brooke Shields performance since she hardly had any screen time.
The horror elements in this film are brutal. The three killings on display are very graphic and bloody. The staircase slashing of Aunt Annie (Jane Lowry) is extremely graphic. You can see and hear the true horror in her face with her agonizing screams, as she loses lots of blood, and becomes extremely pale.
Alice Sweet Alice has a bit of humor in it. During one scene, 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 for such a brutal murder scene. Alice Spages is a very unlikable character and pretty much a brat. 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 Trailer (1976)
Filed Under: Horror
About the Author: Hello and welcome to Rancel's Movie, TV Show, Animated Films, and Japanese Anime Review Website. I love writing, watching films (especially foreign cinema and horror), playing video games, listening to music, repairing computers, and spending time with people I love. I have always been into the world of cinema, animated films, and TV series. So now as an adult I am an amateur film reviewer and intend on getting a degree in journalism.