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Alone With Her is the harrowing story of a disturbed young man's attempts to win the affections of an unsuspecting young woman. When Doug (Colin Hanks) first sees Amy (Ana Claudia Talancón), he instantly falls for her and begins to watch her every move, going so far as to set up spy cameras in her apartment. However, as his fascination grows into obsession he's no longer satisfied with just watching. Written by
A stalker-voyeur manipulates his way into the life of his target woman
"Alone with Her" is not your run of the mill movie. It's quite imaginative both in story and storytelling techniques. A film that's sort of in the same vein of unsentimental realism is "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer", but with important differences. This movie is clearly a very significant work by writer-director Eric Nicholas.
Here we have a portrait of a voyeur and stalker who goes way beyond these categories into manipulating his victim's life so that he can come on to her as a friend. He's doing an utterly perverse seduction, and showing absolute disrespect for her. In various terrible ways he turns her life upside down so that he can appear as a comforting helper. His despicable behavior toward her as an object mirrors his own loathing of himself, which we sense and can infer, because he is sexually frustrated and impotent. This is a man with intense rage that he covers up in public.
Unlike "Henry", "Alone with Her" tells its story for quite awhile using the subjective point of view, before gradually inserting objective shots in which we see more of the creepy Doug character (played so realistically by Colin Hanks) who is gaining control of his victim, played so vulnerably by Ana Claudia Talancon. Nicholas places us in the uncomfortable position of being the voyeur watching Talancon at her most private. He uses a variety of cameras, shots and appearances to dispel the boredom of what otherwise are fairly routine things going on. Some reviewers surely will write the film off as being boring and routine, and that was certainly a challenge faced by filmmaker Nicholas. I think he succeeded, because in fact the story kept introducing new manipulations by Doug, and there was a rising escalation of them. One could sense that this was going to become more violent at some point. Some scenes skated toward exploitation, but they were brief and in context, avoiding that precipice, but just barely.
Although the story involves total invasion of privacy and Doug has to break and enter to accomplish it, the main focus, it seems to me, is on characters. We have a rather lonely but attractive young woman, currently without a boy friend, talented and wrapped up in her work, but unfulfilled. She has one close girl friend. Lonely is not quite the right word. It's more that she is alone in the world trying to make her way. And we have this young man who cannot approach women in a normal way and instead spies on them and then intrudes on them, and he is not above the worst forms of violence. We have then a portrait of his alienation from people, at the most basic personal level, or reflected in these personal lives. Amy we feel will find a boyfriend. Her being alone will be temporary, but Doug we see as seriously damaged.
Voyeurism, the movie tells us, reflects a serious misdirection of sexual drives and personal relationships. Is Nicholas trying to tell us that more of us are voyeuristic than is healthy for any society? Is he telling us that privacy is an essential that should not be invaded if we are to have proper relationships? I think he is telling us these things via this movie, but without standing on a soapbox.
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