Alone in the Dark (1982)

R | 92 mins | Horror | 19 November 1982

Director:

Jack Sholder

Producer:

Robert Shaye

Cinematographer:

Joseph Mangine

Editor:

Arline Garson

Production Designer:

Peter Monroe

Production Company:

New Line Cinema
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HISTORY

       On 9 Jul 1980, Var announced that New Line Cinema would produce writer-director Jack Sholder’s Alone in the Dark with principal photography scheduled to begin Nov 1980. A 13 Aug 1980 Var article stated that the picture was set to be one of the first four feature films produced by New Line. The $1 million budget was to be financed by New Line and “pre sale commitments.” However, several months later, a 15 Oct 1980 Var article stated that producer Robert Shaye was looking for co-financiers. Var noted that this marked the first time New Line would market product “which it partially financed.” A year passed before production commenced. An 18 Nov 1981 Var news item reported principal photography was underway in Hillsdale, NJ.
       An advertisement in the 13 Oct 1982 Var indicated that the film was test screened in both Detroit, MI and Cleveland, OH, earning $163,000 in forty-one picture houses and $154,000 in fifty-three houses, respectively. Alone in the Dark was released to generally positive reviews.
       The film marked Jack Sholder’s feature film directorial and screenwriting debut.
      End credits note that the film’s sporting goods were supplied by AMF Voit, Inc., Kings Department Stores, and Penn Athletic Products. Filmmakers also include a statement thanking the New Jersey State Film Commission. The name of the music producer of The Sic F*cks, Andy Shernoff, is misspelled as “Adny.” ... More Less

       On 9 Jul 1980, Var announced that New Line Cinema would produce writer-director Jack Sholder’s Alone in the Dark with principal photography scheduled to begin Nov 1980. A 13 Aug 1980 Var article stated that the picture was set to be one of the first four feature films produced by New Line. The $1 million budget was to be financed by New Line and “pre sale commitments.” However, several months later, a 15 Oct 1980 Var article stated that producer Robert Shaye was looking for co-financiers. Var noted that this marked the first time New Line would market product “which it partially financed.” A year passed before production commenced. An 18 Nov 1981 Var news item reported principal photography was underway in Hillsdale, NJ.
       An advertisement in the 13 Oct 1982 Var indicated that the film was test screened in both Detroit, MI and Cleveland, OH, earning $163,000 in forty-one picture houses and $154,000 in fifty-three houses, respectively. Alone in the Dark was released to generally positive reviews.
       The film marked Jack Sholder’s feature film directorial and screenwriting debut.
      End credits note that the film’s sporting goods were supplied by AMF Voit, Inc., Kings Department Stores, and Penn Athletic Products. Filmmakers also include a statement thanking the New Jersey State Film Commission. The name of the music producer of The Sic F*cks, Andy Shernoff, is misspelled as “Adny.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 1982
p. 34.
Los Angeles Times
23 Nov 1982
Part VI, p. 4.
New York Times
19 Nov 1982
p. 33.
Variety
13 Aug 1980.
---
Variety
15 Oct 1980
p. 11, 184.
Variety
18 Nov 1981.
---
Variety
28 Jul 1982
p. 20.
Variety
13 Oct 1982
p. 25
Variety
10 Nov 1982.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New Line Cinema presents
A Robert Shaye Production
Produced in association with Masada Productions
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Cam loader
Cam loader
Gaffer
Best boy
2d elec
3d elec
Key grip
2d grip
Still photog
Cam equip from
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dept staff
Art dept staff
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative reconforming
SET DECORATORS
Carpenter
Standby prop
Outside prop
Outside prop
COSTUMES
Asst cost
Asst cost
MUSIC
Mus supv
Asst mus ed
Mus rec eng
Soundtrack pub by
SOUND
Loc mixer
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec
Sd and post prod
New York, New York
VISUAL EFFECTS
Toni's apparition created by
Fire eff
Titles and opt eff
MAKEUP
Spec make-up and eff created by
Spec make-up and eff created by
Makeup/hair
Asst make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Unit mgr
Extra casting
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Loc mgr
Scr intern
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod comptroller
Worldwide sales
New Line International
Mr. Pleasence's automobile supplied by
Automotive services from
Archery supplied by
Appliances and electronics from
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Chop Up Your Mother," "Rock Or Die," "Take Me To The Bridge," "Insects Rule My World," written and performed by The Sic F*cks, produced by Andy Shernoff.
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 November 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 19 November 1982
Production Date:
November 1981 in Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright Claimant:
New Line Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 December 1982
Copyright Number:
PA174480
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theaters
Color
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On a misty autumn morning, Dr. Dan Potter arrives late to his first day of work at Haven, a New Jersey mental institution. After meeting with hospital founder, Dr. Leo Bain, Dan unpacks moving boxes with his wife, Nell, and daughter, Lyla, at their new house. The next day, Dr. Bain explains that the third floor of the hospital is equipped with a special electrical security system to detain criminally insane patients. Dr. Bain introduces Dan to Ray Curtis, the floor monitor, and the inmates. Dan’s new patients include Byron “Preacher” Sutcliff, Ronald “Fatty” Elster, Frank Hawkes, and John Skagg, a man who suffers frequent nosebleeds and never lets anyone see his face. In bed that night, the patients whisper that they believe Dan killed his predecessor, Dr. Harry Merton, and plan to kill Dan for revenge. Ray overhears and tells Dan, but the doctor is unconcerned. When Preacher sets his shirt on fire, Dr. Bain whispers in his ear and Preacher calms down, but Dan is confused by Dr. Bain’s unconventional methods. Out on the lawn, Dan asks Hawkes about his contact with Dr. Merton, but Hawkes gets defensive and warns the doctor that Ray is unreliable. Meanwhile, in Dan’s office, Fatty pockets a letter displaying Dan’s address. Elsewhere, Dan’s wayward teenage sister, Toni, visits her brother’s new home after spending time in the hospital for a nervous breakdown. She takes Dan and Nell to a punk rock club that night to see the band, The Sic F*cks. When a nuclear power plant failure causes a citywide blackout, Hawkes believes he possesses supernatural powers that caused the outage. Preacher and Fatty escape from their rooms to murder Ray. ... +


On a misty autumn morning, Dr. Dan Potter arrives late to his first day of work at Haven, a New Jersey mental institution. After meeting with hospital founder, Dr. Leo Bain, Dan unpacks moving boxes with his wife, Nell, and daughter, Lyla, at their new house. The next day, Dr. Bain explains that the third floor of the hospital is equipped with a special electrical security system to detain criminally insane patients. Dr. Bain introduces Dan to Ray Curtis, the floor monitor, and the inmates. Dan’s new patients include Byron “Preacher” Sutcliff, Ronald “Fatty” Elster, Frank Hawkes, and John Skagg, a man who suffers frequent nosebleeds and never lets anyone see his face. In bed that night, the patients whisper that they believe Dan killed his predecessor, Dr. Harry Merton, and plan to kill Dan for revenge. Ray overhears and tells Dan, but the doctor is unconcerned. When Preacher sets his shirt on fire, Dr. Bain whispers in his ear and Preacher calms down, but Dan is confused by Dr. Bain’s unconventional methods. Out on the lawn, Dan asks Hawkes about his contact with Dr. Merton, but Hawkes gets defensive and warns the doctor that Ray is unreliable. Meanwhile, in Dan’s office, Fatty pockets a letter displaying Dan’s address. Elsewhere, Dan’s wayward teenage sister, Toni, visits her brother’s new home after spending time in the hospital for a nervous breakdown. She takes Dan and Nell to a punk rock club that night to see the band, The Sic F*cks. When a nuclear power plant failure causes a citywide blackout, Hawkes believes he possesses supernatural powers that caused the outage. Preacher and Fatty escape from their rooms to murder Ray. Preacher, Fatty, Hawkes and Skagg steal a car and drive into town, where they join locals looting shops. After returning home from the concert, Dan visits the hospital to learn about the escape while Toni tucks her niece Lyla into bed, recalling her childhood fear of the dark. Back in town, Skagg dons a hockey mask and kills a bystander as his three friends steal a van loaded with weapons, leaving him behind. The next day, the men kill a bicycle messenger as Nell and Toni prepare for an anti-nuclear protest. Wearing the delivery boy’s hat, Preacher arrives at the Potter home looking for Dan, but Nell tells him the doctor is not home. Nell and Toni are arrested at the demonstration, while Lyla returns home from school to find Fatty, who says he is a babysitter. In jail, Toni flirts with a fellow protester named Tom Smith, whom she invites home so Dan can treat the wounds on his face. Dan calls Bunky, the family’s babysitter, to have her check on Lyla. When Bunky finds Lyla asleep unharmed and alone, she invites her boyfriend, Billy, to come over and keep her company. As Billy and Bunky make love, Bunky hears a noise in the room, and Billy is pulled under the bed where he is stabbed by Frank. Fatty strangles Bunky as she attempts to escape. Hours later, Nell, Toni, and Tom return to find police. Although Lyla tells Dan about Fatty, the criminals, Bunky and Billy are nowhere to be found. When Detective Jim Barnett and Tom stay for a candlelit dinner in the darkness of the blackout, Barnett goes outside to pursue strange noises and is shot with a harpoon as the family watches through the window. Terrified, Tom and the Potters close all entryways into the house and Nell realizes their phone line has been severed. Meanwhile, Dr. Bain becomes concerned when he is unable to reach Dan on the telephone and goes to the Potters’ house, claiming that he can talk the patients down from their violent impulses. However, Preacher appears and slices off the doctor’s ear, causing him to bleed to death. Dan realizes that the patients are after him because they believe he murdered Merton, and yells aloud that Dr. Merton is still alive, working at a hospital in Philadelphia. When the patients attempt to break through a window, Toni faces her fear of the dark and wanders away, but she has visions of the attackers and worries she is becoming ill again. As the family discovers the bodies of Bunky and Billy in the kitchen, a fire starts in the basement. There, Dan encounters Preacher and knocks him unconscious with a fire extinguisher before putting out the flames. Back in the kitchen, Tom kills Fatty with a meat cleaver and baseball bat, but then attacks Toni, his nose running with blood. Realizing that Tom is actually John Skagg, the fourth escaped third floor patient, Nell stabs him. Preacher emerges from the basement and Dan jabs a knife into his back. Just as Hawkes arrives and threatens the family, the blackout ends. As electricity returns to the house, the television comes on and Hawkes sees an interview with Dr. Merton. Now convinced that Dr. Merton is still alive, Hawkes leaves the family unharmed and wanders into a punk rock club, where he meets an intoxicated woman and holds a gun to her chin as she laughs. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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