Film Review: <em>Alone</em>
Oct 01 2020

Film Review: Alone

By: David Vicari

Recently, I thoroughly trashed the Russell Crowe road-rage thriller Unhinged. It's poorly written, devoid of suspense, and incredibly mean-spirited. Alone is everything Unhinged should have been. Sure, it's a conventional thriller, but it's smart, suspenseful, and so scary and intense at times that it will rattle you.

Alone opens with the recently widowed Jessica (Jules Willcox) packing her stuff into a U-Haul and heading into the Pacific Northwest to start a new life. The first 30 minutes or so echo Steven Spielberg's Duel (1971) as Jessica is harassed on the road by a man (Marc Menchaca) in a jeep. Eventually, the driver of the jeep—a bespectacled, much-too-nice family-man type—kidnaps her, which leads to a cat-and-mouse foot chase through the wilderness. If the beginning of the movie is like Duel, the finale effectively borrows a few visual quotes from the John McTiernan/Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Predator from 1987.

Alone is a remake of the 2011 Swedish film Försvunnen, aka Gone, and is directed by John Hyams, son of filmmaker Peter Hyams (Capricorn One, 1986's Running Scared). Here, John Hyams really milks the tension by often having the camera creep around to see what is lurking in the background.

The two lead performances are terrific, too. Willcox plays up the vulnerability of the character as she is fighting for her life. Menchaca is a great villain. He makes the character's calm and cool demeanor come off as very chilling. This character is a terrifying version of the "Okily Dokily" neighbor Ned Flanders from The Simpsons, and it totally works.

This is a scary one, so don't watch Alone ... alone.

The movie is streaming now on various services.


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