Alone (2020)

Director: John Hyams
Writer: Mattias Olsson
Cast: Jules Willcox, Marc Menchaca, Anthony Heald, Jonathan Rosenthal
Part of: secret society screening at the SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 27.9.2020

After losing her husband, Jessica (Jules Willcox) is driving across the country by herself – she’s moving, ready for a new start. But first she has to get through the long drive on her own. And that turns out to be more difficult than she thought when a creepy man (Marc Menchaca) starts to follow her. In fact, he seems to be hunting her and despite her safeguards, he manages to capture her. But Jessica still has some fight left in her.

After Av: The Hunt and Hunted, Alone completed the trifecta of SLASH movies where a woman gets hunted by one or more men in the woods and has to fight for her survival. Of the three films, Alone is probably the most consistent in quality, but probably also the one that attempts the least.

The film poster showing the view from a driver's seat in a lone car at night. In the rearview mirror we can see a woman's eye opened wide and headlights of the car behind her.

Alone is absolutely a solid thriller that manages to keep the tension throughout (you could have maybe tightened it here and there and cut a couple of minutes, but that’s no big deal). It is well-executed, but I did feel like it barely brings anything new to the table. It all feels a little “we’ve seen that before” – and that’s not even considering that it’s the third film with a very similar theme that I saw in a week.

That being said, an old story executed well is nothing to be sneered at. And Alone is certainly that, making me think that it was probably the best of the three films. At the very least, it was the most consistent one, with two things standing out above the rest. The first was the beginning with the hunt on the street – I loved that Jessica immediately catches on and listens to her gut that the dude is creepy. Even if it meant that she was being rude to him (in case he just seemed the creep and wasn’t actually) – too often women choose politeness over their own gut feeling and that is rarely a good decision for them.

Jessica (Jules Willcox) at the edge of a river.

The second scene that really stood out to me was the part where Jessica is hidden and the man tries to coax her out of hiding. The scene plays the audience and their expectations perfectly to get maximum tension from it.

But other than that, it was mostly a fine film – good for a Sunday evening watch when you want to see something adventurous, but don’t want to think too hard about it (and you definitely shouldn’t go into nitpicking mode with this one). Strong, but not really exciting.

The man (Marc Menchaca) looking in a window, making a shushing gesture.

Summarizing: good enough for a watch for sure.

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