Director: Alfred Sole
Writer: Alfred Sole, Rosemary Ritvo
Starring: Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula Sheppard, Niles McMaster, Brooke Shields
Running Time: 102 min
BBFC Certificate: 18
The 70′s saw horror films really hit their stride. There were great titles made in the genre since the beginning of cinematic history, but the 70′s were when the barriers were broken in terms of truly shocking an audience and when horror really became popular. Films like The Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre sent weaker audience members fleeing in terror and those boasting a stronger disposition came in droves. This new generation of films shocked not only through higher volumes of realistic gore, but through more disturbing themes and content which didn’t always hide in the shadows.
Alice, Sweet Alice (a.k.a. Communion or Holy Terror) came in the middle of the decade to reasonable acclaim but never quite gained the ongoing momentum of some of its peers. Director Alfred Sole went on to helm only two more films before becoming a production designer for the rest of his career, which is a shame because on the strength of Alice, Sweet Alice he had a lot of talent.
As mentioned, the 70′s breed of horror films were often quite disturbing and Alice, Sweet Alice is no different, largely due to its focus on murderous acts carried out on and by children. The title character Alice (Paula Sheppard) is an unpleasant 12 year old girl that constantly taunts and threatens her younger sister Karen (a young Brooke Shields in her debut film role), an overly perfect little ‘darling’ to their separated parents. During her first communion, Karen is brutally murdered and all eyes turn towards Alice as the culprit, especially those of the audience who are the only witnesses to the crime. The girl’s parents (Linda Miller & Niles McMaster) refuse to believe that their precious daughter could do such a thing though and whilst the seemingly deluded mother hides away from the truth, the father decides to do some investigating of his own.