Alison’s Birthday (1981)

After Alison loses her parents in an accident as a baby, she gets adopted by a seemingly selfless and loving couple. When she is 16, her deceased father contacts her through a Ouija board and warns her that she will be in terrible danger on her 19th birthday. Although nervous, she still follows up on her adoptive parents’ invitation to come home to them for her birthday party. Soon, their loving facade starts to drop and she finds herself in the clutches of a demonic cult.




Full Plot:
16 year old Alison, the protagonist of the Australian horror movie “Alison’s Birthday” from 1981, and her two friends Chrissie and Maureen sit around a table playing with a Ouija board using a glass as a planchette. Chrissie, the girl who leads the séance, asks whether there are any spirits present in the room and after a while the glass finally moves to “YES”. The spirit soon reveals that it has a message for Alison, urging her to not go to her 19th birthday party. The girls are confused and ask for more details before the glass begins to violently shake, then flies against the wall and smashes.

Suddenly, Chrissie seems possessed; she tells Alison in a deep male voice to get away from “them” before her 19th birthday and that they want her for “Mirne”. When Alison asks who the spirit is, it identifies itself as her deceased father. A strong wind starts coming through the window. The spirit whispers that Mirne is coming and rips off Alison’s necklace, before the wind becomes so extreme that the windows rip from their hinges. Chaos ensues in the room and the spirit finally leaves Chrissie’s body, but she gets smashed by a falling bookshelf and dies on the spot, much to the horror of Alison and Maureen.

2,5 years later, Alison is 18 and her 19th birthday is only days away. She works in a record store and has a boyfriend who works at a radio station.

One evening, when she and her boyfriend Peter hang out together, the phone rings. Her aunt Jennifer wants Alison to come home to them and stay until Wednesday for a party to celebrate her 19th birthday. Alison initially declines remembering the creepy message but gets convinced after her aunt tells her that her uncle Dean is sick and doesn’t have much time left according to the doctor.

Alison tells Peter about the warning she received during the Ouija board session years back and that she feels nervous about celebrating her 19th birthday, but feels like she owes her uncle and aunt that. We learn that her parents were killed in an accident when she was little and that Dean and Jennifer were so kind to adopt her and took care of her all her life without asking for anything in return.

When Peter drops Alison off at the house, she gets a hearty welcome by the older couple. Uncle Dean doesn’t look ill at all, but aunt Jenny insists that he is just trying hard not to show it.

Soon after her arrival, Alison decides to take a walk around the house, but gets warned to not go past the old stone fence in the garden as it is overgrown and full of snakes and spiders. Alison remembers that she heard that warning from them ever since she was little, but finally decides to ignore it and see for herself what they are hiding. After getting through a chaotically overgrown part she comes across a miniature Stonehenge-like structure. Soon she starts hearing strange breathing sounds that seem to follow her. Alison becomes nervous and tries to make her way back to the house through the overgrown mess. Back in the tidy part of the garden, she tells uncle Dean about what she saw and he explains to her that the man who build the house was an amateur astronomer who believed that Stonehenge was an ancient observatory and he wanted to make one for himself.

Back at the house, Alison finds her old room completely untouched and the same as it was in her childhood. Her aunt gives her a herbal hot chocolate and insists that she drinks it up, before letting her finally go to bed.

At night, a very old woman in a wheelchair rolls into Alison’s room, waking her up. She screams out in horror as the woman reaches out for her. Aunt Jenny and uncle Dean rush into the room and explain that it is just Alison’s 103 year old great-grandmother Thorne who probably was just too excited to finally see her. Alison is confused as she never heard of her before, but eventually buys the story.

Next day, Alison goes to the beach with Peter where she tells him about the old woman. She remarks that she stared at her with hunger in her eyes and that she wore a pendant around her neck. The pendant was a bigger version of the pendant her aunt and uncle gave her when she was little and she wore ever since. She finally admits that she feels uncomfortable in the house and that she started to have nightmares ever since she came there. She also tells him about the stone circle she found next to the house. She reveals that her birthday party will take place at exactly 7 pm, which is the time she was born. Peter agrees to join the party making Alison feel more relaxed about the event.

The two spend the day together and go back to the house as late as possible. After Peter says goodbye and starts heading home, he gets stopped by uncle Dean who finally drops his nice facade in front of him. He orders Peter to stay away from the house and from Alison and reveals that Peter is meddling in things that he could not possibly begin to understand.

When Alison hears the news that Peter has been uninvited from the party, she gets upset and wants to run upstairs to her room, but her aunt insists she drinks another one of her tonics before she is free to go to bed.

At night, Alison has another nightmare. She sees a cloaked group of people standing around in the stone circle. Her uncle Dean and aunt Jenny are among them, as well as Alison herself. They are chanting and trying to summon Mirne, calling it angel of the darkest night. The leader of the group identifies herself as Isobel Thorne. She asks Mirne to possess her when a blue light manifests from one of the stones and possesses her. Alison wakes up startled and sweat soaked.

The next day, Peter shows up at the house to pick Alison up to spend the day with her. Dean and Jenny claim she is sick and will not leave the bed today. Peter becomes skeptical, but is forced to leave when the doctor, Jeremy Lyall, confirms that she is unfit to go out.

Later, Peter finds out that the doctor he just met is not listed anywhere. He gets increasingly uneasy about Alison staying with her aunt and uncle. At night, he sneaks into the house trying to get Alison out of there. She is happy to see him and the two immediately pack her things and run towards the exit – but instead of getting outside, they run into aunt Jenny, uncle Dean and Dr. Lyall.

Dr. Lyall grabs Peter and Alison by the neck, making them pass out. They leave Peter in the entry and carry Alison upstairs back to her room, where they inject her with a mysterious solution. Finally, Dr. Lyall wakes her up and immediately hypnotizes her using a pendulum.

They call the police on Peter, who wakes up convinced that he has the law on his side. Dean and Jenny claim that Peter is an ex-boyfriend of Alison who won’t accept that she won’t have anything more to do with him. Peter suggests asking Alison herself, but gets immediately disappointed when a hypnotized Alison confirms her uncle and aunt’s claims. The police is convinced and walks off with Peter.

It’s finally Wednesday, Alison’s Birthday, when Peter’s dad bails him out of jail. He decides to give his friend Sally a visit, all while getting spied on by a man who works for Alison’s relatives. Sally is knowledgable about the occult and quickly finds out that Mirne is a powerful celtic female demon who dwells in stone. It’s color is blue and it’s ritual number is 19. It was once worshipped by the Celts and nowadays by Druidic sects.

Furthermore, Alison’s 19th birthday falls on the 19th day of their year and she is born at exactly 7pm, the 19th hour of the day. So to a member of a Druidic sect worshipping Mirne, Alison is a very special person and tonight is a special night.

Peter goes on a research spree. While going through old newspaper files, he finds a registered birth of an Alison Baker on March 15th, 1960. Later, he finds an article telling the story of a baby disappearing from a hospital. The attached photo of the parents shows a resemblance of the mother to Alison. A later article features the death of the parents caused by a freak accident.

To get a final confirmation that the stolen baby is indeed Alison, Peter asks an employee at the hospital to check in the records whether Alison Baker was born at 7pm, and she indeed was. Additionally, the employee tells Peter that for one to find and steal a baby that is born at a specific time, one has to have connections to someone working on the inside – somebody who has access to the hospital records and the maternity wards, like a doctor.

Click here to unfold the remaining story (SPOILER WARNING)

Meanwhile, the spy informs Dr. Lyall about Peter’s successful research, upon which he orders the spy to kill Peter. The spy runs up to Peter’s car and attaches a note saying “Last warning, stay away from Alison” on it, before getting into his own car. Peter sees the spy and immediately chases after him. The chase abruptly comes to a halt at a graveyard, where the spy gets out to continue on foot, before disappearing between the headstones. Peter runs after him, but instead of finding the spy, he is suddenly surrounded by many men in suites, who capture him by an open grave. A man with a pitchfork approaches him and points it towards his stomach, but hesitates when Peter claims to have found out that they have stolen the wrong baby. They are skeptical, but Peter insists that he can prove it if they loosen their grip on him. They agree and Peter manages to escape.

Later, Sally calls Peter and explains that she has found out that the Mirne cult has been revived in the 17th century by a woman called Isobel Thorne. She and her followers used to conduct Sabbaths in the ruins of an old Druid stone circle, inviting the possession of Isobel’s body. Mirne then stayed in her body until she was an old woman and then transferred to the body of a young girl. They do this over and over roughly every 80 years and always rename the young woman Isobel Thorne. It is finally clear that Alison’s supposed great-grandmother is possessed by Mirne and Alison’s body is the next host to be possessed this very night.

Peter prepares for crashing the party and getting Alison out. He packs a gun and later steal a cross from a church, following Sally’s advice.

At the house, Dean and Jenny wake up Alison, who feels awfully sick. They drag her downstairs, where the sect members wait for her. Dr. Lyall immediately hypnotized her once again, making her fully compliant.

In a white gown, she is walked to the stone circle and given a drink form a chalice. A chanting hooded group surrounds her. Old Isobel Thorne sits by her side, holding up her big pendant from which a blue light starts manifesting while the group chants for Mirne to possess Alison’s body.

Peter suddenly bursts in, holding the cross and the gun in his hands. He tells Alison to move, but she instead insists that he throws the cross at the group. He complies, takes her by the hand and runs, but soon hurts his ankle and falls to the ground. Selflessly, he hands her the gun and begs her to run away alone, leaving him behind. But instead of fleeing, Alison reveals that her body is already possessed by Mirne, before pointing the gun towards Peter and shooting him.

After the ritual is done, Jenny and Dean call the police once again and tell them that Peter tried to abduct Alison at gunpoint, but he tripped and accidentally shot himself. The police immediately buy the story and leave.

Finally, Alison wakes up in the body of the old lady and sees her former, young body walking in, possessed by Mirne and wearing the big pendant. When she realizes what has happened to her, she screams in horror.

Joanne Samuel as Alison Findlay
Margie McCrae as Chrissie Willies
Julie Wilson Maureen Tate
Lou Brown as Peter Healey
Bunney Brooke as Aunt Jennifer Findlay
John Bluthal as Uncle Dean Findlay
Marion Johns as Grandma Thorne
Vincent Ball as Dr. Jeremy Lyall
Lisa Peers as Sally Brown

Ian Coughlan

Alison’s Birthday (1981) on IMDB

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