6.1/10
4,124
81 user 76 critic

Alone in the Dark (1982)

A quartet of murderous psychopaths break out of a mental hospital during a power blackout and lay siege to their doctor's house.

Director:

Jack Sholder

Writers:

Jack Sholder (story), Robert Shaye (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Palance ... Frank Hawkes
Donald Pleasence ... Dr. Leo Bain
Martin Landau ... Byron 'Preacher' Sutcliff
Dwight Schultz ... Dr. Dan Potter
Erland van Lidth ... Ronald 'Fatty' Elster
Deborah Hedwall ... Nell Potter
Lee Taylor-Allan ... Toni Potter
Phillip Clark ... Tom Smith / Skaggs
Elizabeth Ward Elizabeth Ward ... Lyla Potter
Brent Jennings ... Ray Curtis
Gordon Watkins Gordon Watkins ... Detective Burnett
Carol Levy ... Bunky
Keith Reddin Keith Reddin ... Billy
Annie Korzen ... Marissa Hall
Lin Shaye ... Receptionist at Haven
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Storyline

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... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're out... for blood! Don't let them find you! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Solos en la oscuridad See more »

Filming Locations:

Ridgewood, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's three male leads have all made a significant mark in the horror genre in other movies. Donald Pleasence played Dr. Loomis in the original "Halloween" film franchise; Jack Palance had portrayed the legendary vampire title character in Dracula (1974) as well as starring in Craze (1974); whilst Martin Landau won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for portraying Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's Ed Wood (1994). See more »

Goofs

When the escaped inmates climb into the white van in the parking lot of the strip mall, the van is parked head-on in front of a store. We see the inmates climb in and the next shot has them hurriedly driving forward, which was impossible given the cement barrier and curb that was in front of the van. They would have had to reverse the van first. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Leo Bain: I told him that if he does not stop this nonsense immediately, I shall hang him up by his heels and chop him in half.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the UK cinema version was intact the 1987 Rank video was cut by 15 secs by the BBFC with edits to a scene where a babysitter is threatened by knife thrusts while kneeling on a bed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 976-EVIL (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Insects Rule My World
Written and Performed by The Sic Fucks
Produced by Andy Shernoff (as Adny Shernoff)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Different, but a bit plodding for no good reason
19 June 2007 | by drownnnsodaSee all my reviews

"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.


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