Starring: Jack Palance, Donald Pleasence and Martin Landau
Psychiatrist and family man, Dr. Dan Potter is replacing a certain doctor in Dr. Leo Bain's (the late Donald Pleasance) psychiatric haven. Little did he know, he will be handling the "men at the third floor", loons that are deemed too dangerous to wander about freely by themselves like the other patients in the place. These are former POW Frank Hawkes, fire-bug preacher Byron Sutcliff, overweight child molester Ronald Elster and a homicidal maniac John Skaggs, AKA The Bleeder due to his condition wherein his nose drips the red stuff whenever he kills.
When Dr. Bain breaks it to these men that their usual doctor is no longer treating them, they are not too happy about this. In fact, they assume Dan killed their preferred doc and is now after them, leading the four to plot an escape and hunt down Dr. Potter.
The movie works its way through this idea on a fair run until the blackout happens, which then sets the film to a more bodycount-friendly turn that interestingly also feels bit different; while most slashers are marketed for the kills, Alone in the Dark is more atmosphere driven and the kills are nothing much but a by-product of the plot, albeit still featuring scantily clad eye candies and some bloody (not gory) close-ups.
Nevertheless, Alone in the Dark is still an 80s slasher with an original premise (for its time), well acted and well directed while avoiding the usual clichés in favor of focusing more on tension and some psychological subtext. It's a better attempt for something different for the sub-genre and an underrated cult classic that deserves to be bought and owned.
1 male split down the middle with cleaver (dream)1 male hoisted and had his back snapped over killer's knee
1 male punched on the temple, killed
1 male had his neck clawed with trowel
1 male plowed by a reversing van
1 male dragged underneath the bed, later found with throat slit
1 female gets an elevated strangling
1 male pinned to a tree by a shot crossbow arrow
1 male axed offscreen
1 male gets a cleaver to the back and had it forced further in with a baseball bat
1 male knifed on the gut
1 male knifed on the chest and left for death inside a basement