“Survival is the celebration of choosing life over death. We know we’re going to die. We all die. But survival is saying: perhaps not today. In that sense, survivors don’t defeat death, they come to terms with it.” – Laurence Gonzales
It is the unsuspecting victim against the intimidating psychopath. The maniac has experience and physical strength to carry out his nefarious plans. In the other corner is a staggered, unwitting innocence running from personal tragedy only to fall face first in an entirely new pile.
Alone is the path well-traveled but done with a great amount gusto and intelligence. It’s all familiar but with a confident hand and knowledge of proper pacing. The greatest strength of Alone lies with the tension carried from scene to scene that bursts with moments of hair-raising sequences of human defiance in the face of imminent defeat. In one location is two forces pinned against one another. One is familiar with abhorrent acts from kidnapping to murder itself, this force however despicable is not to be crossed without a certain amount of fervor. The other is a small in stature woman distracted by personal loss who must discover her powers of survival if she has any kind of hope for making it through. He is the sure bet here but her unknowable desire to live is not anything to be laughed about.
The victim turned formidable heroine is a personal journey this lone woman goes on and her adaptability to such horrid conditions is an enthralling experience. Once it sucks you in it rarely lets you up for air. She is in constant fear as one small encounter with a stranger sprawls into a mess of death motivated cat and mouse. You feel her paranoia and overwhelming demand to overcome this man, this evil pursuer.
Over time we learn more of these two opposites and how their separate lives will ultimately clash in a mangled wreck with optimum collateral damage. She finds the strength within herself in moments of true terror showing that just because a woman is often smaller, she is never simply out of the fight. Jules Willcox as Jessica is entertaining as hell to watch as she navigates unfamiliar paths both physical and mental but each as seemingly insurmountable as its predecessor. She conveys so much panic and tenacity with her gorgeous, emotionally impactful eyes. You see the decisions forming in her mind and carried out as she discovers her true strength; it is a fascinating, highly engaging thrillride to gasp in awe over her worsening situation and to cheer as she overcomes her adversary. Still he persists…
Marc Menchaca is the man behind the mustache and serial killer eyewear. His reasoning for abducting Jessica is never revealed but what is left without question is his desire to make sure she is never seen again. I think with a mustache as unsavory as his makes for an intimidating person as is, but even then Marc manages to elevate the outdoorsy type meets murderous lunatic in a believable, unnerving fashion. As nasty people go he is in a category reserved for those destined to the seventh circle of Hell.
If he is the cat she is the mouse become a rat. As she runs and does little to find hope she finds within herself the only solution to her kidnapper/killer predicament. As resolute as a stick in your bare foot, she becomes his worst nightmare, an unwilling victim who will match him blow for blow and unwavering, guttural battlecry. In this game of chase, who is truly alone with who?
Rated R For: violent content and language
Runtime: 98 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Starring: Jules Willcox, Marc Menchaca, Anthony Heald
Directed By: John Hyams
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 3.5
OVERALL: 3.5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes. Currently for rent on Amazon Prime Video.
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