Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)

Rushed home from work today, slapped on some PJs, and decided today's story time would be Alfred Sole's Alice, Sweet Alice. Although this could be a mistake, seeing as the tagline is: "If you survive this night...nothing will scare you again." Could certainly make for a very boring remainder of October/life. But, I'm a risk taker.

I'm not sure what's going on with the cover of this movie. There's a bag, scary mask, butcher knife, doll, and some drugstore Halloween blood coming from the doll. I appreciate the efficiency in using the remainder of the blood to spell out the title, however. Not much of a waster myself...

In any case, I think this movie will be a promising adventure. I might laugh, I might cry, and suspect I'll see misogyny all over the place, which can sometimes be more frightening/disturbing than the actual movie premise.

What I'm expecting to see is a story about Alice, a reclusive young girl who is the prime suspect in her younger sister's death at first communion. What I might actually find is another story altogether, and I'm quite excited to find out. See you all after the show!


Wow, was I ever wrong about this one, on multiple levels. First of all, it's a superb film! A film that makes you go "". Round of applause for you Alice, Sweet Alice. Bravo.

Now, what struck me most about the movie was the astoundingly realistic and heartbreaking portrayal of a family - a family disrupted, and the dynamics between the family worlds they live in. There is also a startling true-to-life view on the insensitivity of all parties involved and how it is accepted. How sisters communicate, spouses, religious figures with their congregation - all of it.  What makes this whole set-up really scary, in my opinion, is how much we all don't want to believe it's true. I'm sure some could easily recognize their own life in this film. For some parts of the film at least... What I'm really getting at is that all of us can see someone in this film that we know in real life. It's sad, spooky stuff.

Moving on.

The landlord/neighbor is something to behold. Holy mother of monkey brains, this character is Some.Thing.Else. I tell you what. A character that mirrors something found in the back of a refrigerator that was lost for years ...then it formed into the stuff of legends, passed down through the ages until it grew into an entirely new beast. He's one of my new favorite horror figures.

Additional favorites:

The New England accents
Dialog. Dialog. Dialog.
The surprising amount of magazines...and what do they insinuate...

I dare say this movie is a work of art.

Watch either in small, intimate company or alone. This movie will require your full attention. Suggested pairing: Body and Blood of Christ.

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