Are You in the House Alone? (1978)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller, Teen Movie  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This interesting little made-for-television flick doesn't deliver the cheap thrills that its title and premise hint at but it is an interesting piece of work nonetheless. Are You In The House Alone? models itself on the slasher movies of the era and plays like one to a certain point but has a few surprises up its sleeve. The script has a surprising amount of shade and dimension to it: in between the thrills, there are plenty of convincingly, well-written scenes devoted to the heroine's conflicted relationships with her parents and her courtship with a new boyfriend. The script also has an unusual third act: without giving away too much, it brings a whole new angle to the story that compliments its dramatic elements and gives it an unexpected resonance. Kathleen Beller is quite affecting as the film's heroine, hitting just the right mix of charm and vulnerability to create someone the audience can care about. There is also fine support from Blythe Danner and Tony Bill as her parents, each doing a fine job of creating parental figures whose sincere desire to protect their child sometimes conflicts with their own personal failings. Director Walter Grauman does a nice job of blending the film's thriller and drama aspects, delivering tension at key moments but also showing a nice attention to emotional nuance. Horror fans might be disappointed as the film ultimately isn't interested in anything more than a flirtation with the genre but Are You In The House Alone? is a novel blend drama and thriller elements and worth a look for anyone interested in 1970's made-for-t.v. films.