30th Dec2020

‘Alone’ VOD Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Jules Willcox, Marc Menchaca, Anthony Heald, Jonathan Rosenthal | Written by Mattias Olsson | Directed by John Hyams

It’s been some time since I saw a thriller like Alone – one that was actually as thrilling as it promised. Alone delivers on every single level. It is tense, oh my god, it’s tense. It has you on the edge of your seat from the moment events begin. I was hugely impressed by director John Hyams work here, showing a level of mastery and restrainant in never going for the cheap jump and always letting the tension marinate making this a psychological juggernaut. The performances are outrageously good with an eerie menacing script at times. The cinematography is simply divine, so much so that there are shots in this movie that actually took me by surprise!

Jessica (Jules Willcox) a recent widower is packing up everything and moving to another part of the country in hopes of rebounding from the tragic loss of her husband who took his own life. While on a long open stretch of road she comes across one of those asshole slow drivers that when you try to overtake they speed up (you know the type, usually driving an Audi) almost causing an accident. Still a little shaken a little later that day she sees the same car, then again, then again… Until the two become embroiled in a game of cat and mouse. Jessica ends up falling foul to the mysterious man (Marc Menchaca) and wakes up in his cabin in the woods… Does she have what it takes to escape? More importantly can she survive if she does?

Marc Menchaca is one seriously menacing villain; hell, he had me running scared around my living room. Delivering monologues like you would not believe and ratching tension up way past 11. However to look at him, he does look harmless which I guess is the sign of a great villian… Menchaca stole this movie for me, every single bloody scene he was in was commanded by him. Probably why Jules Willcox was so effortlessly great too. I have to imagine there was a massive level of trust with these two here and both of them elevated each other’s game. I could see Willcox strolling down the Radha Mitchell, Kate Beckinsale or Emily Blunt road as a bad-ass leading lady and I for one hope to see her more. I even read a bit of trivia stating she broke her ankle or foot during shooting and continued through the production which is mental considering its a lot of running about in the woods. Bravo to that lady right there.

Director John Hyams and DOP Federico Verardi clearly have a great partnership and a clear idea of the style and vision they wanted. I want you to pay special attention to the scene early on in the car park when Willcox is on the phone, seriously they made this phone call unbelievably tense when it didn’t really have to be; another example of letting things marinate and letting my imagination run wild. And the camera work in the big showdown left me nervous all the way through.

To recap… Direction is excellent… Cinematography is on point… Performances bring out the best in each other… Just an all round great time. You won’t regret checking Alone out; and that Score over the end credits! Well played…

***** 5/5

Alone is out now on Digital HD from Signature Entertainment. Also check out our review of the film, from it’s Fantasia screening back in August, right here.


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