Skip to main content

Review: Alone (2020)

There's something to be said for a lean, mean horror/thriller. If you think about it, some of the best genre movies are the ones that cut all the bullshit and present a simple, scary story, and tell it effectively.

John Carpenter's Halloween was one. Steven Spielberg's Duel another. And that's just a couple. But I'd like to add director John Hyams's Alone to that list.

Perhaps best know for his well done Universal Soldier sequels Regeneration and Day of Reckoning, Hyams proves he has what it takes to make an effective chiller, focusing on character and technique to tell a scary story of a widower who is kidnapped by a serial killer and taken to his remote cabin. She escapes, and must not only survive him, but the elements.

A simple premise, but Hyams and screenwriter Mattias Olsson kill it -- if you'll excuse the term. This movie grabs you with an effective opening, which could have been a whole movie in its own right, where fragile Jessica (well played by Jules Willcox) is slowly stalked by the devious killer, Marc Menchaca, who gives a chillingly effective performance, while driving cross country. Hyams and Olsson slowly build the tension, eventually making Jessica -- and the viewer -- leery of every passing vehicle.

Alone kicks into high gear once we reach the cabin, and the cat-and-mouse game that unfolds is scary, brutal and visceral. Hyams can shoot action, and those skills come into play here, exploding in a violent final conflict that had me on the edge of my seat.

As I said, Willcox and Menchaca are great, and play off each other well. Willcox's character goes through a great on-screen character arc that's 100 percent believable. And Menchaca... well... he's got a backstory that makes his killer all the creepier.

This is a great horror/thriller, and one I'm glad I stumbled across. And it's not just solid Halloween viewing either. See it. It's a Good.


Popular posts from this blog

#CocktailHour: Slushtail

  Summer approaches, inspiring thoughts of sunshine, backyard parties, and having a tip and sip with friends.  With that in mind, I bring you this week sunny beverage. To make a slushtail, mix a can of frozen orange juice, a can of frozen lemonade (or limeade), a can of pineapple juice, a couple cups of black tea (or English Breakfast), and two cups of bourbon- such as Southern Comfort, in a pitcher.  When it's all nicely mixed, put it in the freezer until it's a nice slushy consistency. Scoop the slush into a cocktail glass, and pour in some Sprite or 7-Up.  Add a little umbrella for some frivolous fun, and a straw. Voila!  Ready to enjoy. This is a very refreshing drink.  The fruit juices, Sprite, and bourbon- when chilled makes for a great punch-like drink.  The bourbon doesn't overwhelm juices.   In fact, they are all nicely balanced in terms of flavors.  The sourness of the citrus fruits contrasts well with the slightly sweeter Southern Comfort.  It was refreshing enou

Marcus Flor vs Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

In film, there's nothing I enjoy more than passionate creativity. Compared to the sea of mediocrity surrounding it, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is practically overflowing with it. This animated movie is vibrant, kinetic, and extremely inventive with its art style. On top of all that, this is just a solid movie. It tells its story with sincerity and tact, always focusing on the important aspects of Miles' emotional journey. The script wastes no time on pointless scenes or moments, which also gives the film an energetic rhythm that draws you in. One of the other great aspects of this movie is its reinvention of the Spider-Man story. It's clever writing demonstrates a true understanding of the webslinger, and offers commentary on the current state of his movie adaptations. In the end, you get a film both Spidey fans and non-fans can enjoy. Above all other aspects, what I like most about Spider-Verse is how fun it is. It demonstrates quality animation and filmmaking doesn

From The Basement - the "final" three

Just a gentle reminder From The Basement returns next Friday -- June 11 -- to the mighty Radio NL with an all-new episode! That's the good news. The bad news it'll be the first of our final three prime-time shows. What, you might ask? Are you bastards quitting AGAIN!?!? No. No we're not. We learned our lesson the last time. Shawn and I's long-running show will return to being "just a podcast," and not adhering to any set broadcast schedule. Why, you ask? Our lives are becoming increasingly busy outside of The Basement, and it's getting harder for Shawn and I to keep up with the latest movies, TV shows and entertainment news. We'd rather cease our weekly duties than produce an inferior product. Simple as that. Much thanks to Howie Reimer and the Radio NL crew for hosting us the last three years, first as a Friday morning segment, then as a prime-time series. It's been a blast! Don't worry, we're not coasting on these last three episodes. T