Alone With You
For many people, the last two years has included a lot of isolation at home - whether it be voluntary or involuntary - but people were still able to physically leave their homes to go to stores or doctors or whatever. But could you imagine the terror that comes with being physically restrained inside of your own apartment; locked in, with no way to contact the people outside your window and 911 operators seem to not care your front door won't open? This nightmare becomes real life for the main character in ALONE WITH YOU - the new horror written and directed by Emily Bennett (who also stars in the film!) and Justin Brooks that tells 99% of its story locked inside of a Brooklyn apartment. What seems like a bad day turns into a living fucking hell when her apartment begins to feel like a tomb, and no effort results in any progress of getting out - and as time slips by, hallucinations begin to haunt the poor girl, forcing her to confront a truth she's hidden in the depths of her mind. Alone With You is pretty much a one woman show that plays out with the undeniably talented Emily Bennett and honestly the entire movie feels like one dark and twisted acid trip that she's just begging to end. If you're a fan of films that aren't afraid to get maybe a little weird, a little uncomfortable, and incredibly claustrophobic, Alone With You is definitely one of the best movies of its type. I have to admit that this movie will not be for everyone (and by everyone, I mostly mean casual horror audiences) because it trades generic jump scares for borderline mental collapse, hopelessness and that claustrophobic feeling I mentioned before, but if you are into this niche type of horror film, Alone With You will leave you on the edge of your seat and so quiet, you'll hear your heart race in anticipation. Because once the voices, shadows, and hallucinations begin... they're fucking haunting.
Charlene (fantastically portrayed by Emily Bennett) is preparing a lovely anniversary evening with her girlfriend Simone (played by Emma Myles) in their Brooklyn apartment as she anxiously awaits her girlfriends return from a work trip. Her phone calls go unanswered, but she's not super worried because she figures Simone is just stuck in traffic and will be home soon. It's not until she realizes that her front door is stuck closed (as it's been before), the 911 operator is useless and the black tarp over her window pretty much isolates her from the entire world besides a terrible Facetime call with her mother (Barbara Crampton) and her best friend Thea (Dora Madison) who is too drunk to be of any real use. Once she realizes she's entirely helpless and isolated from the entire world, the psychological breakdown really begins as Charlene begins to see shadows move across the rooms, hear noises that she thinks belong to her girlfriend but don't, hear voices coming out of the vents in the walls mocking her, and hallucinations that are equivalent to a seriously dreadful acid trip. As she descends into uncontrollable insanity and is unable to get a hold of her girlfriend, her mind begins to confront her of the dark, harsh truths she's obviously been fighting to keep buried in the darkest corners of her mind. Will she eventually be able to escape the confines of her apartment, or will she be locked in a mental prison with her dark history forever? Find out in... ALONE WITH YOU!
I really ended up falling in love with their movie for a few reasons, but like I had mentioned before, I can totally understand why this movie wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea - and you know what, I don't think it was made to be for everyone. Sure, some of the visuals in the film are dark and creepy and eerie, but there's this seriously overwhelming sense of uncertainty, dread, fear, and secrecy that just lays over this entire movie like a veil. I watched Alone With You in the dead middle of the night, entirely alone with the lights off and the apartment quiet as a mouse, with just the light from my screen to acknowledge any sort of human existence inside my home. It was the perfect setting for a film that physically feels very confined and claustrophobic already, and then when you throw in the godawful feeling of despair that Charlene goes through (which just gets worse and worse) as she tries to get help from her friend, her mom, the woman next door, and the dark figure out in the hallway, that feeling of dread just drowns this film in the absolute best way possible. The movie features these sometimes-artsy, sometimes-creepy flashback scenes of Charlene and Simone that will briefly pull you out of the apartment and give your head a few brief periods of fresh air before submerging you right back into the dreadful waters that the movie keeps you under and it's totally awesome and works beautifully to kinda break up the mental chaos going down back in the apartment.
I think a big part of the role of the main character Charlene was to use plenty of body language, especially since she is in the apartment alone (except for Simone's adorable sphynx), and Bennett couldn't have done a better job at physically showing her mental collapse - especially as the hallucinations begin. It is that physical element, along with the mental torture she's clearly enduring, that really brings on that sense of hopelessness and desperation. Bennett slayed her role and definitely gave the movie some extra points. In an attempt to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, I really don't want to delve too much further into the plot because I think the films story needs to unfold a certain way - but let me just say this: while some may say the ending is too predictable and generic, when the movie ended and I had a few days to think it over, it wasn't the ending that drew me so closely to the movie. Is the ending maybe a little predictable? I didn't really think so, but I guess audiences may be able to see where it's going as the descent into madness begins to unwind, but I don't think the manner in which the film ends is the generic, guessable thing. But still, it was the fucked up, stressful, unnerving, and unsettling rollercoaster that takes place inside the two floors of the apartment that drew me to the movie and kept me latched on right up until the ending. I think the final few minutes were creative and a justified ending to a wicked little flick, but like I said, it wasn't about that for me. Alone With You is mental torture for Charlene and audiences alike, and it had me addicted to it's stressful environment from the get-go. If you're looking for something very different and pretty twisted, Alone With You is a film I'd highly suggest giving your time and money to if you don't mind putting yourself through a little hell. A fantastic film with a fantastic performance, this movie will no doubt keep you on edge until the very end. Check it out!