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ALONE WITH YOU (2021)
Directed and written by Emily Bennett, Justin Brooks.
Starring Emily Bennett, Emma Myles, Dora Madison, Meghan Lane, Barbara Crampton
Charlene (Emily Bennett) arrives at her apartment and waits for her girlfriend Simone (Emma Myles) to arrive after a work trip. She cleans the house, showers, and gets ready for a romantic evening, but the longer Charlene waits, the stranger things get. Charlene is now trapped in her apartment with no idea how or why.
ALONE WITH YOU feels like a single location stage play. Besides a few shots along a dreary beach, the bulk of it plays out in Charlene’s apartment. This doesn’t make for the most action-packed of stories, but the emotional heft and sense of mystery is prevalent throughout.
ALONE WITH YOU is going to be predictable for many as it plays out like some very familiar TWILIGHT ZONE episodes, but what makes it watchable is the outstanding performance by its lead Emily Bennett and the strange happenings going on. Bennett has a ghost-like demeanor. She wears every emotion on her sleeve and is far from a perfect person. This is evidenced through flashbacks and her few interactions with friends, her mom (played by Barbara Crampton via Skype), the authorities she calls when things start getting weird, and the stranger from next door she interacts with through the vents of her apartment. Despite being somewhat of an ugly person personality wise, as she is presented as distrusting, clingy, and occasionally downright pathetic, Bennett still maintains enough humanity to allow one to feel for her. This is a testament to her acting that she is able to win investment despite her character’s faults.
I like the increasingly odd things occurring in and around Charlene’s apartment. The voice from next door is creepy as all get out as often times all it does is mimic Charlene’s pleas of help. The darkness surrounding the windows is another unique and unsettling touch. ALONE WITH YOU also incorporates shapes and forms in the background that will keep you scanning the periphery of the screen to notice everything and uncover the mystery.
In the end, ALONE WITH YOU wrapped up exactly the way I thought it would. It was quite obvious what was going on early in the story, especially if you’ve watched any kind of horror anthology, short story, or TWILIGHT ZONE segment. Stretching this concept out to full feature length might have been a mistake, as I feel things do get redundant and the impact of the revelation would have hit harder had there been less time used. Still, this is a short feature length film with a lot of great and chilling elements. Bennett is the focus the entire time and commands the story with her emotional rollercoaster well. ALONE WITH YOU is not the most original of films, but the emotional story it does tell hits deep and the imagery is bound to cause a shiver or two.