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  • Alex First

Alone (MA) - 98 minutes

For the most part a two-hander, this psychological thriller set in the Pacific Northwest has twists aplenty and kept me engaged throughout.

Six months ago, Jessica (Jules Willcox – On The Rocks) lost her husband in tragic circumstances and now she’s decided to move away.

Her parents were going to help her pack, but she decided to do it alone and avoid especially her mother’s scrutiny.

Hitching a closed trailer to her car, she is on her way.

But on the long journey a strange thing happens.

She is almost killed in an unlikely incident involving another vehicle, in which the driver – who she can’t make out – appears to be taunting her.

Shaken, Jess is increasing alarmed as that man (Marc Menchaca) and his car seem to be everywhere she is.

At one point, he introduces himself to her, but Jess is wary.

And I am here to tell you she has every reason to be because he is an unhinged individual who sees Jess as his plaything.

Before this is over, she is in for the fight of her life as he won’t relent.

As the story develops, we learn a little more about her husband and his family, who has no idea what he’s been up to.

The screws are turned tightly, with Jess having to show her resourcefulness and inner strength in order to try to survive her ordeal.

Credit must go to writer Mattias Olsson (Gone) for crafting such a compelling narrative and director John Hyams for maintaining the tension.

Both understand the genre and make the most of that insight.

I thought the two leads played their parts well.

Willcox captured the fear and resilience of her character, while Menchaca combined evil intent with boldness and craftiness.

The diversity of settings – including bushland and rapids – aided the cause and were well captured by cinematographer Federico Verardi.

The soundscape boosted the atmosphere around the travails of the antagonists.

The best of this breed not only keep you guessing but have a sense of dread and impending doom throughout.

Alone moves down that path.

It is opening in select cinemas and can be accessed via Foxtel and Fetch.

Rated MA, it scores a 7 to 7½ out of 10.

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