He Knows You’re Alone, released in 1980, is a fairly tame and pretty standard slasher when compared to others that came out the same year, much less the same decade. That is not to say that it was not very enjoyable, as it was, but it was more the feeling of familiarity that someone gets when watching a movie they have not seen in quite some time, sitting there on the edges of memory. It may not be original in any sense of the word, but it does manage to tell a straightforward story of a bride to be and the man looking to kill her.
Tom Rolfing stars as the killer, a man whose past is rarely touched upon except for the fact that he murdered his ex-fiancé and is now on the loose, killing brides wherever he finds them. There is one woman he has in his sights as played by Caitlin O’Heaney and it presents a challenge as she somehow keeps eluding him. Because of that, those that surround her start to die, like the man at the dress shop, her best friend Nancy and so on. Additionally starring Don Scardino as a man in love with O’Heaney’s character Amy and a young Tom Hanks as a psychology student, the film features a surprisingly strong cast, better than the material they were given to work with. The film is pleasant enough and as a whole, it never lacks at keeping one’s attention, but it felt like a made-for-television thriller than it did a horror movie. The scares are non-existent and aside from one head in a fish tank, there is little blood to be found. The acts committed by the killer are horrific, there is no arguing that, but when it comes to frightening the viewer, it never happens. There is simply just not enough done by director Armand Mastroianni to make the killer seem as more of a threat other than the man peeking through windows and following Amy around town. It was a little menacing perhaps, a little disturbing, but nothing that would give anyone the heebie-jeebies.
More than anything, this film is only memorable for the fact that Hanks was in it, for what little he was. He was a decent supporting character that amounted to nothing other than a little bit of comedy relief, with none of the genius that would be seen in performances years later. As a slasher, He Knows You’re Alone was okay and as a horror movie in general, it left a lot to be desired, but overall, it was not the worst film to ever hit the big screen and makes for a decent distraction when there is nothing else to watch.
2.5 out of 5