Alone is a tense thriller that follows a fairly simple narrative, the kind of thing you feel you’ve no doubt seen a hundred times before in other movies. I was definitely intrigued by the trailer, even though I felt it had possibly laid out far too many plot points. But while that is certainly the case, I found Alone to be an excellently well executed and enjoyable surprise.
I’ll try not to lay out the plot much more than the trailer does. We’re introduced to Jessica (Jules Willcox) as she loads her possessions into a U-Haul trailer and drives off. There’s minimal dialogue, aside from phone calls from her parents as she travels, but it’s only later that we learn that she is recently widowed and is heading off for a fresh start.
As Jessica makes her way up the remote mountain roads, she finds herself stuck behind a black SUV that’s travelling at a slow speed. She eventually moves out to overtake it, only for the SUV to immediately speed up and block her as an oncoming truck threatens to plough straight into her. Luckily, Jessica manages to pick up enough speed to pass safely in front of the SUV, but it tailgates her for a while until she pulls over and lets it pass, relieved and believing that to be the end of it.
But then the next day, the driver (Marc Menchaca) catches Jessica off guard by knocking on her car window while she’s parked outside the motel she stayed at last night. He offers up a seemingly sincere and genuine apology for the incident and Jessica continues on her way one more. After further sightings of the black SUV along the way, it becomes clear that this is no coincidence, and then Jessica is involved in what appears to have been an accident. When she comes round, Jessica finds herself locked up in the basement of a forest cabin that belongs to the man.
If you hadn’t already watched the trailer, you’d most likely be expecting the rest of Alone to play out with Jessica remaining trapped, possibly being tortured, until hopefully making some last-minute break for freedom. However, ten minutes later and she’s breaking free, running barefoot out into the huge forest with her captor in pursuit, but not before learning a little secret about him. What follows is a tense game of cat and mouse as Jessica braves the elements and tries to evade capture.
My only gripe with Alone came about two thirds into the movie when I suddenly realised that out in this huge expanse of woods, both Jessica and her pursuer do seem to keep coming across each other a little too easily. There are plenty of occasions where one of them has headed completely in the opposite direction for a period of time, only for them to cross paths again soon after. It’s the kind of implausibility that threatens to derail your enjoyment of a movie if you let, so I decided not to.
Despite that, I thought Alone worked extremely well. Well acted by its minimal cast and some beautiful cinematography that really highlights both the beauty and bleakness of the vast outdoors that Jessica finds herself alone in.
Signature Entertainment presents Alone on Blu-ray from 12th July
See all photos >>
Web developer by day, with a movie and TV watchlist that continues to grow as much as my spare time reduces! My favourite movie is Inception and, despite what everyone says, I do not have a man-crush on Tom Cruise.