ALONE is a finely made film: the paranoid cinematography, languorous editing, and immersive sound design coalesce into an experience that is palpably nerve-racking at times, and the performances, albeit not especially outstanding, are perfectly believable. This film should satisfy you, more or less, as a riveting thriller, but it's doubtful that it'll stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
The story is, well, very simple--a classic cat-and-mouse thriller pulled from Serial Killer Plotting 101. There's a freshness to how the main character behaves quite realistically within every situation. She never falls for what's obviously a trap like many cinematic idiots often do; there's a sense that she's always doing what we would probably have done in the same situation rather than simply what the screenwriter thinks would be interesting. While such believability is, unfortunately, rather rare in movies, there's also nothing very surprising about it. From beginning to end, everything is quite predictable.
Unfortunately, whatever the film succeeds at in terms of behavioral realism, it fails at in terms of making the situations unfold naturally. The woods of the Pacific Northwest are quite massive, but the number of serendipitous run-ins in this story makes it seem like they're a couple of acres at most. The plot depends upon the characters always being within about fifty yards from each other, which is rather frustrating by the end.
What was more frustrating for me, however, was how weak the characterization was. The film never succeeds at making the two characters anything other than superficial ciphers in a very cliched serial killer plot, however realistic their behaviors and the actors' performances might be. The screenplay hints at some possible thematic meanings that a very generous viewer could possibly mine--likening the abduction to grief; comparing the will to survive with suicidal depression; the hint that you never truly know what's going on in another person's mind, whether that's suicidal urges or serial killer urges--but in the end none of these interpretations really resonate.
In the end, there's nothing to really recommend this film--nothing that really stands out--despite it being perfectly competent.
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