Decent 1970s horror film had the grim misfortune of being released and re-released as one of the cheapo videos you pick up at Long's for $5. It came out under a variety of titles, from "Communion" to "Holy Terror," and they all had almost unwatchable picture quality.
Fortunately, Anchor Bay has re-released a widescreen director's cut that looks great and finally captures the essence of this pre-"Halloween" gem of a slasher movie. Twelve-year-old Alice (Sheppard) is the prime suspect when her younger sister (played by a child Brooke Shields) winds up dead during a Catholic communion.
Wearing a rain coat and mask like the one Alice had been wearing earlier, the killer sure looked like the snot-nosed kid. What follows is an intriguing mystery with heavy Catholic overtones and an emphasis on our subconscious fear of children. Alice is portrayed as a "bad seed" who very well could have killed her sister.
The film was certainly way ahead of its time. Well-made and well-acted, it almost stacks up as a classic, although it plays a little too much like a police drama toward the end of the film. Still, it's a must see.