Alice Sweet Alice is a brilliant dark slasher horror film that tells the story of 2 siblings, Karen (the younger one) & Alice (the older one). Both sisters are completely opposite in nature. While Karen is a religious and kind-hearted girl, Alice is a bit disturbed girl. She feels that Karen gets all the attention of her parents while she is mostly ignored. This makes her jealous of her own sister.
But things get worse when one of the sisters is killed, and everyone starts suspecting Alice because of her troubled relationship with Karen. This movie is filled with lots of twists and turns, blood & murders, a lot of mature elements, and religious themes. More or less, but you can call this movie a layered thriller.
The movie was released on 15th November 1976, and upon its release movie received mixed to positive reviews from the critics. Many critics compared the movie to the Hitchcockian style of filmmaking. Although on its release, the movie had mixed opinions of people over the course of years, Alice Sweet Alice became a cult classic.
It is hailed by many as one of the most important slasher horror films of our time, covering the themes of child neglect, American family dynamics, and religion. The movie was also controversial in some regions, like Ireland and the UK, where it was negatively received for its portrayal of anti-Catholic themes.
Alice Sweet Alice Filming Locations
Alice Sweet Alice was majorly filmed around Paterson, New Jersey. Before turning into a director, “Alfred Sole” worked as a restoration architect around Paterson, which eventually helped him to find some of the best locations in and around Paterson that could help the movie achieve the required gothic look.
Many important scenes from the movie were shot around the Roger locomotive and machine work building. The scenes from the movie involving churches were shot around First Presbyterian Church & St Michael Parish. For the interior scenes director, Alfred Sole used the local hospital chapel.
Alice Sweet Alice Movie Review
Upon its release, Alice Sweet Alice received mixed reviews. Many praised its dark and shocking elements, while others criticized the film for representing anti-catholic themes. This was widely controversial in Ireland, which led to several protests during its release. Director Alfred Sole said in an interview that he got the inspiration for this film after watching director “Nicolas Roeg’s” classic thriller “Don’t Look Now.”
Its premise served as the base for Alice Sweet Alice. While writing the script Alfred and his friend & fellow co-writer “Rosemary Ritvo” often discussed developing a story around a child who is emotionally neglected by his parents, forcing her to choose the path between good and evil. Ultimately making the audience think whether or not they should like this character. That’s the kind of film Alfred wanted to make.
Currently, Alice Sweet Alice holds the status of a cult slasher film. Despite being made on a low budget, this movie never fails to terrify you, and it always keeps you on edge until the very last moment. The film’s major theme revolves around the beliefs of Mrs. Tredoni (who is ultimately revealed as the main killer), she believes that sinners must be punished, and the punishment should be in the form of death.
Director Alfred purposefully used several religious images while shooting the murder scenes, which made many people think that this movie was anti-Catholic in nature. The film faced lots of difficulties in its initial days. The director was inexperienced. Before becoming a director, he worked as an architect, and the movie faced several financial issues, leading to delays.
And as if things were not worse enough, one of the lead actors tried to commit suicide by cutting off her wrist. But despite all these problems, director Alfred never gave up on his dream project, and he kept working on it despite the circumstances. And as a result, today, his movie Alice Sweet Alice is one of the most important slasher movies of all time.
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