Film

Movie Ramblings: Alone

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Alone, AKA Solo, is a pretty standard formula camp (as in camping) slasher horror movie. Gillian, a troubled teen with recurring nightmares about her dead sister, gets a job as a camp counsellor to help her to rehabilitate (against the wishes of her parents and therapist). As part of her training/induction/job interview, she is sent to spend 2 nights camping alone on an island. Of course there is a creepy back story to the island and the other counsellors waste no time in giving us the exposition telling her that it is haunted by the ghost of a girl who went missing on a trip there years earlier.

It seems that Gillian has never been camping before and hasn’t really got a clue about how to do the job that she has decided will be the one thing she needs to turn her life around. Thankfully the film doesn’t make too big a deal out of this with only a few brief scenes highlighting her lack of skills. In fact, she becomes much more competent at outdoors survival as the pressure is piled on her and you soon forget that she is supposed to be a novice who blagged her way into the job. Which makes you wonder why they bothered writing it into the film in the first place.

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Of course it is not long before sinister things start to happen on the island and Gillian starts to get freaked out. A creepy but helpful stranger appears, closely followed by one of the other counsellors who is intent on scaring the crap out of her and drinking lots of beer. Poor Gillian doesn’t know who to trust and of course keeps making the wrong decisions. Although the story does keep you guessing to some degree, it only ever really presents you with 2 options as to who is the bad guy so it is 50-50 whether you “worked it out” before the reveal or not.

Given the titles that this film was released under, it is quite disappointing that Gillian actually spends a very small portion of the film alone on the island. I guess the title could be alluding to something else like the loneliness she feels after the loss of her sister or the fact that the killer works alone but somehow I don’t think this film is trying to be that clever.

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No attempt is really made to explain any of the character’s actions, especially those of the killer, but this is par for the course for this kind of film. However, the result here is that the killer just feels like a generic copy paste from any other film. The killer does at least display some vulnerability and manages to portray a disturbed and troubled individual rather than the usual cold blooded, semi-invincible killing machine.

It does manage to avoid some of the usual stereotypes of this horror sub-genre. Anyone looking for the excessive gore, a high body count or nudity prevalent in other teen camp slasher films will be disappointed.

Overall, competently made with some reasonable acting but a predictable story with too much exposition and not enough back story at the same time.

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