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[Fantastic Fest Review] ‘Alone With You’ Is a Mixed Bag of Queer Paranoia

Alone With You Review

Single-setting horror movies virtually all the time make for a captivating watch. Movies like Buried, Dice and Frozen drive their administrators to take advantage of their sparse environment, normally with a restricted price range. In these movies, the locales are virtually their very own characters. Executed poorly, and these movies danger placing the viewers to sleep. Increasingly more of those movies are popping out of the woodwork within the pandemic period, which brings us to Alone With You, a paranoid thriller within the vein of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion that provides a welcome layer of queerness to the proceedings. Nevertheless, the execution is considerably of a combined bag.

As make-up artist Charlie (Emily Bennett) painstakingly prepares a romantic homecoming for her girlfriend Simone (Emma Myles, Orange is the New Black) of their Brooklyn condominium, she is interrupted by a jarring name from her spiritual mom (Barbara Crampton, Re-Animator, You’re Subsequent) with the information that her grandmother has handed away. After enduring a number of of her mom’s microaggressions, Charlie turns into trapped in her condominium with no manner out. The digital clocks have all been erased and the home windows are coated in a darkish materials, blocking her view of the surface world. Oh, and there’s a mysterious voice popping out of her air vent.

Bennet pulls triple responsibility right here, co-writing and co-directing Alone With You with Justin Brooks of their function debut. Filmed in the course of the pandemic lockdown, Alone With You takes place virtually completely in Charlie and Simone’s condominium, with the occasional flashback to a abandoned seashore, the place we see Charlie in moments of misery. Inside single-setting thrillers like this virtually all the time rely on a way of claustrophobia, and Alone With You succeeds at this in matches and begins. They’re combating a shedding battle with the setting, because the condominium isn’t actually that claustrophobic (it’s two tales), however Bennett and Brooks use the digicam in a manner that makes the house really feel confined. A standout sequence in a darkish, cramped room stuffed with mannequins is when the movie is at its most unsettling. Sadly, this rigidity isn’t sustained all through the period of the movie.

Alone With You Review

Whereas Bennett is current in each scene of the movie, she does sometimes will get to share the display with different individuals on, effectively, different screens (it is a COVID-shot movie, in any case). Transient FaceTime calls along with her mom and greatest pal Thea (Dora Madison, VFW) are peppered all through, however Bennett is the main focus right here. She is tasked with carrying the movie by herself and he or she is greater than as much as the duty. The script, then again, struggles to take care of suspense all through its admittedly transient 83-minute runtime, extra centered on delaying a 3rd act reveal as an alternative of constructing rigidity.

It’s not that that the aforementioned revelation is the issue, however relatively that it’s made painfully apparent when you’re paying consideration (and particularly so if you realize this specific sub-genre). When the reveal lastly comes, one can’t assist however really feel a bit disillusioned. Alone With You’ll have labored higher had it opened with mentioned reveal and moved on from there, working as a personality examine by way of a horror lens, however sadly that’s not the movie we now have.

Including additional layers to the movie is the queer side, and it’s this side that makes Alone With You price a watch. The movie doesn’t delve an excessive amount of into Charlie’s backstory, however some viewers will put the items of the puzzle collectively merely primarily based on minute particulars integrated into the dialogue. Charlie’s mom makes use of sure set off phrases and phrases that talk volumes in regards to the individual Charlie is immediately (referring to her way of life as her “selection,” calling Simone her “roommate,” and many others.). I, as a queer viewer, know the cruel toll these phrases can tackle somebody’s psyche. I additionally know why Charlie has turn out to be co-dependent in her relationship and doesn’t have many associates that she will be able to name her personal. The movie doesn’t do a lot in the best way of addressing this stuff, although, and that may make the movie’s character work appear half-baked at occasions. It’s a pleasant effort, nevertheless it’s unlucky that the movie appears content material with merely letting the viewers do a lot of the work.

Alone With You is a movie through which the concept behind it’s extra attention-grabbing than movie itself, however that doesn’t imply it’s not price trying out. It’s a promising debut function for Bennett and Brooks, and whereas the concept is there, the execution leaves one thing to be desired.


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