Sunday, January 17, 2021

Alone Review: A Tense and Creepy Thriller

Jules Willcox	...	Jessica Marc Menchaca	Marc Menchaca	...	Man Anthony Heald	Anthony Heald	...	Robert Jonathan Rosenthal	Jonathan Rosenthal	...	Eric Katie O'Grady	Katie O'Grady	...	Officer (voice) Betty Moyer	Betty Moyer	...	Mom (voice) Shelly Lipkin	Shelly Lipkin	...	Dad (voice) Emily Sahler	Emily Sahler	...	Catherine (voice) Laura Duyn	Laura Duyn	...	Little Girl (voice) Brenton Montgomery	Brenton Montgomery	...	911 Operator (voice) Nico Floresca	Nico Floresca	...	911 Operator (voice) Laura Baker	Laura Baker	...	Extra Kayla Banks	Kayla Banks	...	Extra Brett Barron	Brett Barron	...	Extra Grace Birdwell	Grace Birdwell	...	Extra

Release date: September 18, 2020
Running time: 98 minutes
Jules Willcox, Marc Menchaca, Anthony Heald 
Director: John Hyams
Writer: Mattias Olsson

A recently widowed traveler is kidnapped by a cold blooded killer, only to escape into the wilderness where she is forced to battle against the elements as her pursuer closes in on her.

Directed by  John Hyams	Writing Credits   Mattias Olsson	...	(written by)        Produced by  Ben Cornwell	...	executive producer Jordan Foley	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Victoria Hadeler	...	associate producer Mike Macari	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Martin Persson	...	executive producer Jonathan Rosenthal	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Nick Smith	...	co-producer (co-produced by) Yeardley Smith	...	executive producer Kevin Sullivan	...	executive producer Thom Zadra	...	co-producer (co-produced by) Henrik JP Ã…kesson	...	producer (as Henrik JP Akesson) (produced by) (p.g.a.)Music by
Alone has a slow, methodical start that introduces you to Jessica (Willcox) and her predicament.  It doesn't reveal a lot, but shows her packing for a new life and slowly leaving the city.  And this seems intentional as it ratchets up the tension as she makes her way out of the city and onto the back roads.  And when we are introduced to the man (Menchaca), it is so innocuous and off putting that you can't help but feel creeped out.  But the thing that Alone does so well is it makes you wait for the inevitable.  There are several encounters initially that seem both normal and creepy, causing you to slowly tense for the inevitable.  And this is brought to life by both Willcox and Menchaca.  Willcox is believable as a solo traveler trying to move to a better life, and Menchaca is great as a quiet, boring person with just something off.  He looks so normal yet has a sinister aspect to him that is tough to describe but perfectly creepy on screen.  And the film reveals little pieces about both of their lives as it progresses, slowly introducing more and more to the viewer.  

And when the film gets going, it keeps the tension going.  There are some very tough to watch parts that will have you holding your breath as you wonder what will happen next.  Will he get her, will she be able to hold on?  And the film's camera work deliberately makes you think that something will happen, keeping you on the edge of your seat the entire time.  And when there is action or violence in the film, it is portrayed frankly and brutally.  There are some tough scenes to watch, but they do a good job of framing the overall conflict and the stakes.  Sure, some of what is survivable seems a bit extreme, but it is nothing out of the ordinary for the horror genre.  Finally, this movie will make you tense and jump at every sound due to the good sound design.  The sounds of the forest, random branches breaking, and predators stalking prey are quite well done and will keep you on edge throughout.

Alone is a tense survival horror film with great performances by Willcox and Menchaca, a slow burning story, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what will happen next.

Watch it.

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