Four dangerous patients from a mental institution escape one evening and go after their doctor in “Alone in the Dark”. Dr. Dan Potter is just starting his job at an high security/high-tech asylum, run by Donald Pleasence’s character Dr. Bain. He is assigned to four of the most dangerous men at the asylum; “the preacher” who sets fires to churches with people in them, “the bleeder” who gets nosebleeds after each time he kills someone, “Fatty” who is a child molester and an interesting fellow named Frank Hawkes. They believe that Dan Potter murdered their old doctor, someone they trusted and valued very much. So they set out to murder Dan and anyone that gets in their way including his wife, sister and daughter. A city wide blackout gives the four men a perfect escape as they trap the Potter family inside of their new house in this early eighties chiller.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Alone in the Dark’. It is like a slasher film, but has a lot of smarts to it as well as a good story. There is tons of character development in this on as well, which only makes the viewers feel for the characters and want them to survive. Each character has their own personality, and the actors play it very well. Donald Pleasence plays the doctor who runs the asylum, but he appears to be just as deranged as some of the patients. It has a “Don’t Look in the Basement” feel to it. The character Toni (Dan’s sister) spent time in an institution recently, so it doesn’t do her any good going through this attack by the escaped patients.
Martin Landau, Jack Palance and Erland Van Lidth give brilliant performances as the patients. I also thought Deborah Hedwall (who played Dan’s wife) was superb in the supporting role as well. There is also a subplot going on throughout the film; who and where is “the bleeder”? When the four men escape, he takes off from the group leaving us to wonder where he went. Well let me tell you, we find out all about the bleeder in one terrifying scene that left me shocked! Overall, ‘Alone in the Dark’ is a creepy little eighties horror flick with some good scares and interesting twists/turns. Check this out!