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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Review: Alone

Director: John Hyams

Screenplay: Mattias Olsson

Year: 2020

Jessica recently lost her husband, which makes her decide to move to another place and start a new life. While she's on the road towards her new destiny, she notices a vehicle that seems to be following her. In effect, the vehicle's owner has plans to kidnap her.

The man who follows Jessica successfully kidnaps her and takes her to a secluded house where he locks her in the basement. Jessica manages to escape from the basement and the house but realizes that running from the man will not be easy. Out in the open in the woods, now she faces not only her kidnapper but also nature's harshness.

The plot in "Alone" from screenwriter Mattias Olsson (“Gone”), is a minimalistic and straightforward cat and mouse one, where a woman tries to run away from the man who kidnapped her and little more. We only follow two characters during a great deal of the movie while they take this dynamic through different scenarios. However, the way it is developed and presented by the director John Hyams (“Black Summer”) is extremely effective.

Jessica, interpreted by Jules Willcox (“Dreamkatcher”), is one of those characters you can sympathize with almost instantly, and this is crucial in this type of plot. The tension created in its development is mainly a product of our interest in her making it out alive. In this, Willcox and Marc Menchaca (“Ozark”) carry most of the responsibility with their performances, as the first manages to get that interest from the viewer, and the second generates apathy and a sense of danger.

On the negative side, "Alone" stands out by not offering anything that we hadn't seen before. The plot is simple and offers a premise that has been used many times in the past, especially in thrillers. The director’s work for creating a tense atmosphere while making the most out of the natural surroundings’ beauty is as good as the work from the cast, but at the end of the row, it is not groundbreaking. 

"Alone" is a straightforward cat and mouse story that is effective mainly because of the superb acting. The plot, aside from being simple, injects good doses of tension because we care about what will happen with the protagonist during the several difficult situations that she goes through with her kidnaper. Although, in general, it is a good movie, it doesn't offer anything new.

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