All Alone

| June 13, 2012

Two couples escape their everyday lives for a lost weekend of hiking and camping.  On one side, we have Ben and Maggie Cavett (Brice Williams and Mandy Levin), alongside their longtime friends, Kyle and Alex Manning (David Jones and Suzy Cote).  However, given the events of the film, you’d find it hard to believe these four were ever very close.  The premise of the film is that Ben and Alex have been having an affair and have lured Kyle out into the woods to murder him so Alex gets all of her dead husband’s money.  The murder attempt goes horribly wrong when Birch (Beth Naravvo), a young woman who spends most of her time living in the forest, witnesses Ben throw Kyle off a cliff.  Chaos ensues when Birch returns to tell Maggie and Alex about what she saw.

All Alone is a terrible movie.  In every way.  It’s badly written, badly acted, badly directed, and all of this makes it very difficult to watch.  The script is annoyingly obvious.  They try to keep secrets from their audience, but it’s painfully obvious from very early on that Ben and Alex are involved and that they’re plotting to murder Kyle.  Actually, I thought that murdering Maggie was part of the plan too, but to give credit where it’s due, that would have been too unrealistic.  Those same instincts might have benefitted other aspects of the film, but unfortunately there are a lot of unbelievable events here.  Maggie attempting to seduce Ben in order to distract him from killing her is a particularly ridiculous moment.  Sorry for the spoilers, but if you’re reading this as a way to convince yourself whether or not to watch All Alone, my recommendation would be to skip it.

The huge problem with the acting is that there is absolutely no chemistry between any of the characters.  It makes sense that things are cold between the spouses, but Ben and Alex can’t even muster a remotely convincing sexual attraction.  Their one sex scene is sloppy and awkward – like the actors playing them are related.  Maybe not related like brother and sister, but certainly no further apart than second cousins.  The only vaguely sexual relationship between any of the characters comes from Birch and Maggie.  It’s never explicitly stated that Birch is a lesbian, or that she’s romantically interested in Maggie, but there is a flirting quality to their interactions which works surprisingly well.

There may or may not be special features on the DVD.  I can’t say because I was only sent a watermarked copy of the film on a DVD-R.

Available on DVD from Osiris Entertainment on June 12.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
Filed in: Film, Video and DVD

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.