Review: Eclectic Cast Rounds Out Cult Horror Favorite 'Alone In The Dark'

by Ken Tasho

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday September 28, 2021

Not to be confused with the video game of the same name, "Alone in the Dark" boasts one of the most eclectic collection of actors in a horror film. So what went wrong in 1982?

Shout Factory releases a Collector's Edition Blu-ray of the film that furthered the horror career of veteran actor Donald Pleasence ("Halloween"). He plays yet another psychiatric doctor in "Alone in the Dark," Dr. Bain. Unlike driven Dr. Loomis in "Halloween," Dr. Bain teeters on the edge of insanity, much like his patients. Bain heads up a secluded mental institution where he supervises the treatment of patients with various psychoses.

Among them are Frank (Jack Palance) and Preacher (Martin Landau), both of whom suspect their former therapist has been murdered. When a blackout leaves the neighboring town in darkness, the mental patients escape and terrorize Dan Potter (Dwight Schultz), their new therapist.

There are a couple of memorable scenes, one featuring a post office worker on his bicycle who's stalked by Frank and Preacher. The unfortunate thing about "Alone in the Dark" is the underuse of its main actors — they hardly appear in the film. Most of the action centers on Dan Potter and his family.

Audiences also weren't ready for a horror film with black humor and a moral dilemma in 1982. "Alone in the Dark" barely lasted two weeks at movie cinemas, yet like many others from its era, the film has developed a large cult following. Because of this, Shout Factory gives fans a nice gathering of special features on the Blu-ray:

  • "Out of the Dark" — a long interview with director Jack Sholder, who discusses what it was like to work with such revered actors
  • "Mother Choppers" — a discussion with the band The Sic F*cks who are featured in the club scene
  • "Sites in the Dark" — a look back at the filming locations of "Alone in the Dark"

    "Alone in the Dark" is out on Blu-ray from Shout Factory on September 14.

    Ken Tasho is a Corporate Drone by day and Edge Contributor by night. He has a love for all things '80's and resides in the Wayland Square area of Providence, RI...but would much rather be sharing an apartment in NYC with '80's rock goddesses Pat Benatar and Deborah Harry.