Alone With You Movie Review

Written by Janine Pipe

Released by Dark Star Pictures

alone with you poster large

Written and directed by Emily Bennett as Justin Brooks
2021, 83 minutes, Not Rated
Released on February 22nd, 2022

Starring:
Emily Bennett as Charlene
Barbara Crampton as Mom
Meghan Lane as 911 Operator
Dora Madison as Thea

alone with you 01 alone with you 02

Review:

I have so many questions after watching Alone With You. The most important of course being when are co-writer/leading actor Emily Bennett and co-writer/director Justin Brookes going to make more movies, as this debut feature is all sorts of awesome?

Alone With You was made during the height of the pandemic, but if you’re sick of art imitating life, then don’t worry. We don’t have masks and social distancing, endless queues for toilet paper and constant handwashing.

We do have a woman alone in her apartment. Trapped inside by firstly plausible means (a dodgy front door) until things slowly start to unravel.

Emily and Justin may have used this premise and setting out of necessity, but that feeling of utter isolation and helplessness is a primal fear and it works perfectly. I highly recommend watching this on your own, as it amplifies the tension and you’ll find yourself looking over your shoulder and jumping at the slightest noise.

alone with you 03 alone with you 04

Right from the get-go you get the sense there’s more going on than meets the eye. The fleeting glimpses of something. Who is crying? What’s on the windows? And what the hell is the time???

Also, is it me or is that video call from mom – played by the always-awesome Barbara Crampton – really freaky? Something weird is going on…or is it?

As we follow Charlie through the day/evening/night – we’re not quite sure how long – as she is waiting for her girlfriend to come back to the apartment so they can celebrate their anniversary, more and more bizarre and downright creepy stuff starts to happen as Charlie herself seems to begin to unravel. This is definitely a film you need to concentrate on and not be doing something else. And not because it’s hard to follow but because if you’re not paying attention, you might miss some of the amazing blink-and-you’ll-miss-it effects. There’s one involving a photo on the wall and that’s all I’ll say.

Being a writer, I kept trying to guess where it was going and I was wrong, which pleased me greatly, and the ending definitely left me thinking WTF?

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From a plot POV, it is incredibly simple yet executed incredibly well. The setting and props (they did actually rent it out and live there during filming) are authentic and there are some great scenes using what you think will be a jump scare and you’re totally expecting it because it’s so obvious, and then it doesn’t happen and something else gets you instead.

From a filmmaking POV, it is excellent bearing in mind they did the vast majority of it themselves. There is some very atmospheric lighting and music, and the editing is spot-on. There is one shot in particular when Charlie is shaking the window and the camera slowly pans away to show the outside of the building, with her perfectly framed, and it just encompasses the descent into madness and desperation.

It’s hard to say much more without spoilers, so I’ll just add there is an homage to The Ring that I loved and a reveal towards the end which is brilliant. There are a couple of good jump scares even for people who are regular horror movie watchers.

In summary, Alone With You is well worth a watch and I strongly encourage you to watch it alone with the curtains drawn and without any distractions.

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Grades:

Movie: 5 Star Rating Cover

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Janine Pipe
Staff Reviewer
Janine has enjoyed horror from an early age, frightening herself with ghost stories and learning the craft from Stephen King. After trading in a police badge and an apple for the teach (ing assistant) er, she decided to try her hand at something she loved – writing her own scary stuff. She has many terrifying tales published and has been nominated for a 2020 Splatterpunk Award. She hopes her mum never reads a certain story about a hole in a tree … As well as reading and writing, she is an editor and publicist for Kandisha Press with her BFF Jill, where she is always on the lookout for new women’s voices for their anthologies. Her favourite authors and influences are quite obvious when you read her work. But she’d like to remind you they are: Glenn Rolfe, Hunter Shea and Tim Meyer. When not writing, reading or reviewing, Janine can be found at home with her husband and daughter, planning their next trip to Walt Disney World and drinking obscene amounts of coffee.
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