[Review] A Look back at Alone in the Dark 1982

Alone in the Dark is one of the most unknown horror films, but hopefully, our review will change that. It’s a lost masterpiece that’s worth seeing by as many people as possible.

According to my information, Alone in the Dark was largely scorned during its original theatrical run, either being compared to Halloween and Friday the 13th or perceived as substandard in some way.

Despite all the original negative feedback on the film, I think that the film is totally worthy of your viewing, it’s 80s slasher to the core.

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

Alone in the Dark Movie Plot

Alone in the Dark 1982 review 2021

The plot revolves around a psychoanalyst named Dan Potter taking up the position of a resident psychiatrist at the mental institution run by Dr. Leo Bain. It is their responsibility to supervise the more dangerous psychopaths.

Dr. Bain describes the institution as a “haven” for people he calls “voyagers”. Only a few offenders are kept on the third floor with an electronic security system, and Bain gets frustrated that the state won’t let them roam the building and have access to their own “space”.

A power outage prevents him from implementing his new therapy techniques, thus allowing three of the most dangerous (Jack Palance, Martin Landau, Erland van Lidth) to escape. After finding the doctor’s residence, they immediately stalk him outside as terrified family members remain inside.

The situation reminds me of a house under siege, which we have all seen at some point. There are some overblown performances here, but for the most part, the performances are decent.

Alone in the Dark is still unique in its own way; without ruining the film or adding any spoilers It’s interesting to see the last remaining psycho discover an environment that’s not only acceptable but cool for his psychotic tendencies

I suppose this entry in the slasher cycle of the period qualifies as a one-off type 80s slasher film. Among other things, there are a surprising number of stars in this film. In addition, Alone in the Dark portrays a message about the outsiders being no less crazy and violent than the lunatics inside the asylum.

YouTube video

Release Date: November 12, 1982

Starring: Brent Jennings, Deborah Hedwall, Donald Pleasence, Dwight Schultz, Elizabeth Ward, Erland van Lidth, Jack Palance, Lee Taylor-Allan, Martin Landau, Phillip Clark

Director: Jack Sholder
Rating: R
Runtime: 92 min

I give this lost 80’s slasher film a 3.5 out of 5 stars and suggest that you see the film at least once.

The film is set to be released again on blu-ray check out the details of the release.