"Reel Reviews: ‘Alone’ plays up harsh wilderness elements instead of decent storyline" by: Jessica Shepard

   Sadly, there’s still a holdup in Hollywood for releasing new movies and this is making it harder to choose interesting flicks to review. 
   Now, I chose “Alone” with a grain of salt and hopes that it would do more than give me a dose of anxiety. 
   Sadly, it fell terribly short of even that. 
   But, I did enjoy the scenery out in the Pacific Northwest’s wilderness and the shots and lighting are done quite well. 
   I mean, the premise of the film is overplayed and isn’t that new: a lone woman gets kidnapped by a creeper with intent to rape and/or just straight-up murder her. 
   It’s got all the makings of a “Criminal Minds” episode and initially, I spent more time inwardly chastising the woman for not being better and aware of her surroundings. 
   The movie has a small cast and even though it’s shot mostly on the road and outdoors; there’s still something insidiously intimate in the different camera angles. 
   It’s got a total running time of 98 minutes and is rated R for violent content and language. 
   Alone stars Jules Wilcox, Marc Menchaca, Anthony Heald, and Jonathan Rosenthal. 
   Right off the bat in the opening sequence, we see a woman (Wilcox) loading her car and a U-Haul trailer up with her worldly belongings before taking on a drive over 300 miles. 
   Once we’re out of the unnamed city in Oregon, we’re treated to amazingly beautiful roadside scenery. 
   Even with the onset of overcast skies and learn through a phone call with her father that the woman’s name is Jessica and that she’s recently suffered some catastrophic loss. 
   Hence the trek northward to somewhere – we’re never really told where exactly. 
   There’s a good 15ish minutes of her just driving along listening to an audiobook on her own before she gets stuck behind a Jeep driver (Menchaca) on his cellphone. 
   After a near-miss with an 18-wheeler in order to pass the distracted driver, she finds herself having to pull over onto a side road to process what just happened and to catch her breath. 
   Any driver could have had the same experience and it’s a little jarring to watch play out on screen. 
   Jessica stops for the night and spends a bit of time reviewing a video of her and a man named Eric (Rosenthal). 
   The following morning, the Jeep driver from before knocks on her window and apologizes for his behavior before, but, there’s something unsettling with him and you can see it in his eyes. 
   Who does something like that to a complete stranger? 
   At this point in the movie, there’s still a lot left unanswered and you’re wondering if Eric dumped Jessica, divorced her, or died. 
   Sadly, you don’t find out until just over halfway through with the film and that’s a terrible way to bury a chance to empathize with Jessica. 
   Anyway, if you want something a little tense that just reinforces the desire to make sure any woman you know can defend herself and survive in the wilderness for a few days without supplies then Alone is your choice. 
   At least the ending is satisfying – if you stick out all the way through. 

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