Alone

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Alone Movie Poster Image
Woman is terrorized in viciously violent thriller.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No real messages here. It's just a case of needless violence met with more violence -- and vengeance.

Positive Role Models

It would be nice to say that Jessica is a strong female character, but she's mostly helpless for majority of movie. She does manage to escape by herself (even triumphs in the end, through some violence of her own), but otherwise, she's at the mercy of men around her.

Violence

Extreme violence. A woman is terrorized by a man throughout. He breaks her car window with a tire iron, attacks her, punches her hard, injects her with a knockout drug. He slams her against a door, drags her by her hair. Branch stabbed through bare foot; blood shown. One character shoots, wounds another. Repeated punching, mostly off-screen. Shooting and killing (off-screen). Characters fight with a knife and tire iron. Punching, beating, stabbing. Dead body dragged to grave, buried. Woman bloodied and bruised. Car crash. Mention of suicide.

Sex
Language

Several uses of "f--k," "s--t." Also "hell," "bitch."

Consumerism

U-Haul trailer (part of the story) seen frequently.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking. Social drinking seen in old photos.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Alone is a thriller about a lone female traveler named Jessica (Jules Willcox) who's kidnapped and terrorized by a male psychopath (Marc Menchaca). It's technically well made, but it's also unpleasant, with extremely strong violence. Most of the violence is directed at Jessica, including guns/shooting, punching, stabbing, dragging by the hair, and slamming against a wall. A tree branch pierces her bare foot, with blood shown. Her attacker also pummels and shoots another man, drags his body, and buries him. He and Jessica fight using a tire iron and a knife, plus punching and stabbing. Language includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "bitch" and "hell." Jessica smokes on several occasions, and a photograph shows social drinking.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRateit07 December 30, 2020

Not to bad

Movie started out good. It was a slow going movie and the ending was a bit slow too. But overall it was fun to watch because there was not to much gore and no i... Continue reading
Adult Written byMikhaliklos January 14, 2021

Absolutely terrible.

I signed up to write a review just because of how terrible this movie was! If you want to waste your time watching a horror movie you’ve seen 3,000 times go rig... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDisquaTheProphet September 8, 2021

Very good thriller

I will talk about this movie in two parts; the first half and the second half. Starting with the first half, this part of the movie was incredible. The use of t... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byriyalooola March 25, 2021

good

i like it

What's the story?

In ALONE, Jessica (Jules Willcox) is trying to make a fresh start after her husband's death. She packs a U-Haul and starts driving. On a lonely mountain road, she passes a slow-moving truck, which then speeds up and nearly causes an accident. Later, the driver (Marc Menchaca) spots her in a parking lot and tries to apologize, but Jessica is spooked by him. She comes upon the same man having car trouble and, panicked, speeds away. But she loses control of her car, and the man catches up to her and attacks her. She wakes up in a basement as his prisoner. Jessica manages to escape, but between her and safety are the Pacific Northwest woods. Worse, she's barefoot, and her attacker is in pursuit.

Is it any good?

Directed by John Hyams, this lean thriller works more or less in the ways it's supposed to, but it also has a strong sense of vicious cruelty, and it may leave a bad taste in your mouth. Hyams has a strong visual style and a good sense of rhythm, and he puts all of the story's bits and pieces together in just the right way to create white knuckles. But given that the entire story of Alone is about a relentless, psychopathic stalker who's trying to harm an innocent (and already victimized) woman, it just doesn't sit right. Similar but far more controversial exploitation classics like The Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave at least gave their female characters a chance to fight back. In Alone, Jessica is a helpless victim for 95% of the movie.

What's more, viewers are asked to forgive some strange coincidences and silliness. First, it's totally random that Jessica should come upon the slow-driving psychopath in the first place. Does he drive slowly all the time in the hopes that solo women drivers will try to pass him? And how does he always know where she is? How did he manage to cause her eventual car crash in order to capture her? And why is his phone not passcode-protected? Given that Alone starts off by recalling Steven Spielberg's early horror movie Duel, perhaps it should have embraced its killer's supernatural qualities rather than pretend that this is all just happening by chance. It's a shame that lack of care brings down an otherwise well-made thriller.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Alone's violence. How did it make you feel? Was it shocking? Thrilling? Why? How much is directed toward women? How does that affect its impact?

  • Does Jessica have agency? When and in what ways does she take charge of her fate? How often is she helpless?

  • Why are viewers often fascinated by movies and stories about psychopaths? What's the appeal of that kind of character?

  • Is smoking glamorized in any way? Are there consequences for smoking? Why does that matter?

  • What happens to the one character who tries to help Jessica? Do you think the phrase "no good deed goes unpunished" is true?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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