Alice, Sweet Alice (1977) is an American psychological horror film that was first released as Communion in 1976, then as Alice, Sweet Alice in 1978, and as Holy Terror in 1981. It is noteworthy for being the feature film debut of Brooke Shields.
When a young girl named Karen is brutally murdered in the church where she was to receive her first Communion, the only suspect appears to be her older sister Alice, a strange and withdrawn girl who was jealous of the attention their mother gave Karen, and happily tormented her in retaliation. But could a 12-year-old girl be capable of such savagery? As more people die at the hands of a merciless killer, Alice seems more and more likely as a suspect, while her grieving father works to prove her innocence.
Alice, Sweet Alice contains examples of:
- Black Comedy: Alphonso's death which is Played for Laughs and causes a massive Mood Whiplash as it comes after the death of a major character.
- Daylight Horror: All of the committed murders took place on a bright sunny day. Aunt Anne doesn't count because one, it was a very rainy day and two, she doesn't die in the end.
- Death of a Child: Karen is killed early in the film.
- Decoy Protagonist: The movie has fun with this trope.
- It seems that Alice could be the movie's Villain Protagonist but she is the Red Herring and spends the second half of the movie in a psychiatric ward.
- Dom, the father then tries to clear her name and gets offed two-thirds through the movie.
- Alice then returns towards the end though but doesn't cause any major effect on the plot.
- Ultimately, it could be said that the real protagonist is Alice but a Useless Protagonist at that except for her causing Alphonso's inadvertent death.
- Dirty Old Man: Alphonso attempts to molest Alice when she goes to give him the rent money.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Mrs. Tredoni killed Karen just because Karen's parents had Alice out of wedlock and still remained Catholic.
- The End... Or Is It?: The movie ends with Alice finding Mrs. Tredoni's knife and looking into the camera, indicating that, now proven innocent of murder, she might become an actual murderer.
- Enfant Terrible: Alice. Not terrible enough to be the killer though.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Alice, due to the more attentive treatment of her little sister. She also got rather upset at the fact that her sister was receiving her first communion when she, herself, didn't making it all the more reasonable to point her out as a possible suspect.
- Impromptu Tracheotomy: Tom gets it from the killer.
- Jerkass: Aunt Anne and Mrs. Tredoni. The latter turns out to be much worse though.
- Knight Templar: Mrs. Tredoni who is this crossed with The Fundamentalist.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. There is the Father (priest) and Alice and Karen's father, their names being Tom and Dom, respectively. Both are important characters, that eventually get killed, pretty unexpectedly yet nobody mixes them up.
- Parental Abandonment: Dom, Alice and Karen's father, is usually away and seemed to contribute as to why Alice kept crying for attention.
- Red Herring: Alice. A weak one would be Angela.
- Would Hurt a Child: Tredoni killed Karen.