November 12, 2018 I Think We’re Alone Now (Movie Review)
Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning join forces for the brand-new post-apocalyptic Drama I Think We’re Alone Now, which arrives to digital download in the UK on Monday, November 19, 2018, thanks to The Movie Partnership and was released in the North American market on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital as of October 23rd through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Humanity walks hand-in-hand with entropy, and solitude, therefore, is safety. Living alone in a public library, Del (Dinklage: Elf 2003, Game of Thrones series) just wants to be left to enjoy the devastating silence with the hundreds of books that he is perpetually organizing. Oh, and some Classic Rock jams for comfort. By day, he systematically scours the town’s grid, one house at a time, for batteries and supplies, siphoning gas from cars and burying the dead. Yes, Del is a one-man maintenance team who is caring for his town and its (deceased) people, trying to inject a dose of stability into the chaos – and that includes finding all the overdue and unreturned library books and returning them to their proper shelves.
When he is awoken one evening by fireworks, the realization that someone else must still be alive does not seem to give him the warm fuzzies. While out working in the neighborhood the next day, he discovers a crashed car with a young woman passed out behind the wheel and a gun lying in plain sight beside her. As it quickly becomes apparent that Grace (Fanning: Super 8 2011, The Neon Demon 2016) does not wish to leave town any time soon, Del must contend with the pandemonium that her arrival brings into his reclusive little world. Ultimately, he will have to decide if the presence of one more person is apt to make his apocalypse too stuffy or if he can learn to step outside the safety of silence.
Clocking in at 94 minutes in-length, I Think We’re Alone Now was directed by Reed Morano (Meadowland 2015, The Handmaid’s Tale series) and written by Mike Makowsky (Open 24 Hours short 2015, Take Me 2017). It also stars Paul Giamatti (Sideways 2004, 12 Years a Slave 2013) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist 2009, Melancholia 2011). Billed as a blend of Drama, Mystery and Sci-Fi, I Think We’re Alone Now is definitely a Drama steeped in a Sci-Fi premise with some elements of Mystery.
It really is true that Peter Dinklage cannot make a bad film. Here, his Del is a bit of an eccentric recluse, a man with OCD tendencies who is scouring his town for library books, repairing their damages, and returning them to the shelves; cataloging the town’s dead and then giving them a proper burial; and cleaning each house in hopes of staving off the inevitable entropy inherent in the end of the world. He is best defined by his own words, when asked if being the sole living citizen of a town is lonely, he explains: “I felt lonely when it was me and 1600 other people in this town.” While some films might seek to exploit the loner character and paint them as a psychologically unstable oddball, Dinklage’s Del is gently elegant: a man who is buried in the safety of his solitude, who has built an apocalyptic wall around himself in the name of peace. Some of us can fully relate to Del’s conundrum, while others will never understand his staunch embrace of quietude.
Fanning’s Grace is, in fact, one of these people: a pack animal who seeks out other humans, feeling safety in numbers and the routine of humanity. She is sweet, if a bit happy-go-lucky, a young woman who believes in the best in people. If she were a bolder character, she might actually be bubbly or boisterous, and while she definitely has her moments, there’s a hesitance to Grace that is delicate and we immediately sense that she has a story to tell. In fact, it is this tale that provides the film with its major twist – one that introduces a whole new dash of chaos. Fanning’s Grace, therefore, is the perfect foil to Dinklage’s Del, and she portrays this role with a grace (pun not intended) and sophistication that easily matches Dinklage’s understated brilliance.
Filmed in Hastings on Hudson, Roslyn Harbor, Clarkstown, and Haverstraw, New York, I Think We’re Alone Now is a beautiful if bleak look at a potential post-apocalyptic world. Through Del’s eyes, we see the gain in the loss of humanity, while Grace is a reminder that not all things lost are so easily dismissed. Together, they weave a tale that is magnificently haunting yet touching, an intelligent and beautifully-authored film. It’s certainly a more artful, emotional take on the apocalypse, one that is guaranteed to impress a wide range of audiences. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock give I Think We’re Alone Now 4.5 of 5 stars. Sorry to say, there is no red-headed Tiffany dancing around the mall singing the titular track, but hey, you can’t have everything!