February 17, 2022 Alone With You (Movie Review)
Being isolated in your own home as events spiral out of control around you has taken on a whole new meaning and relevance in our post-pandemic world. Released on February 4th in theaters and On Demand February 8, 2022, Alone With You is not a COVID related film, although it is easy to see that it may very well be a lockdown metaphor, and certainly its limited production smacks of the restrictions that filmmakers have found themselves up against.
Taking place primarily in one location, Charlie (Emily Bennett, who also co-write and directed the film along with Justin Brooks) is preparing to welcome home her girlfriend Simone (Emma Myles: Orange Is the New Black series, Child of Grace 2014) to their small Brooklyn apartment. Head over heels in love, Charlie leaves affectionate voicemails for Simone and daydreams constantly about her, if only she would hurry up and get home. However, Simone is not answering her phone, their front door is jammed, and the neighbor downstairs won’t stop crying – something is clearly not right.
Alone With You builds an increasingly intriguing story, with audiences drawn into the mystery along with Charlie. Are there malevolent forces conspiring against her? Or is what is happening around her a result of her own psychological breakdown? Slowly, more clues are revealed, and the pieces of the puzzle are put together to form the bigger picture.
A slight issue with this process is that there are only so many places a film like this can go and it is likely that audiences may have guessed what is going on long before the film concludes. That in mind, it does manage to be engaging for the most part, however even at a slim running time of eighty-three minutes, the plot does feel stretched pretty thin. It is perhaps an easy throwaway comment to make, but Alone With You feels like it would have been more effective as a short.
The film works best when the focus is completely on the interesting women who inhabit the screen, rather than the creepy happenings of the apartment. Horror queen Barbara Crampton (From Beyond 1986, Castle Freak 1995) only has limited screen time but makes a big impact as Charlie’s mother who disapproves of her relationship and condescendingly asks about her “roommate.” Bennett herself is also a strong screen presence and it is clear that this film was a passion project for her.
Reminiscent of several other films, Alone With You unfortunately doesn’t stand out in the isolation sub-genre. Let down by a fizzling third act, it is a film that draws its audience in and then quickly shuts them out. That is why Cryptic Rock gives Alone With You 3 out of 5 stars.