ALONE WITH HER: UNRATED EDITION (DVD)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 78 minutes
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It was only a matter of time before someone explored the more advanced world of stalking on film. What with the technological advancements, stalking no longer requires following a person and sending letters, now it’s as easy as installing hidden cameras, and using easily affordable technology, all at your finger tips. I, for one, simply don’t have the time or discipline to set-up cameras in Anna Paquin or Isabella Soprano’s house; stalking just requires a lot of admirable patience.

“Alone with Her” is an utterly morbid display of stalking on a completely different level. This stalker is one who manages to get into the life of his crush, a young woman named Amy who is just getting off of a bad break-up. He swarms in and watches her and knows more about her than even she knows, and the presence waiting in the wings makes Nicholas’ thriller utterly disconcerting.

Nicholas begins his film on a rather unsettling note, as our predator Doug, a rather awkward man, walks around the city with his camera in his bag, catching glimpses of women in their most candid; but things change once he catches a glimpse of the sad Amy Ruis, one day at the park.

Nicholas is not the first to have created a film based around hidden cameras that tell the story, before, but the way he delivers the stark and rather intrusive camera angles, paired with the utterly powerful performance by Colin Hanks, the slightly gimmicky filming method is undercut by the mounting tension, low-key score, and uneasy narrative.

Hanks is an actor that’s really attempted to build a career out from the shadow of his father, and in “Alone with Her” he gives a solid effort, gaining weight for his role, and embodying the awkward and potentially dangerous man that lurks around her sabotaging and manipulating her environment in his favor. His kind of stalking is defined in his ability to keep her at his mercy all the time, and that keeps “Alone with Her” in a consistently creepy.

Colin Hanks is just utterly mesmerizing here, and his penchant for being the madman who also happens to keep us sympathetic is excellent. Hanks finally manages to prove here that the talents of his father haven’t skipped a generation. Talancón keeps the character Amy a woman in peril without blustering with over the top sobbing, or moaning and groaning. We can see the appeal from Doug through his eyes, and in an essence the audience manages to gain a sense of sexual attraction to her that’s interrupted with video interference that reminds us of the apparent perversions. There’s also a memorable stint from Jordana Spiro as a ball buster friend of Amy’s.

“Alone with Her” manages to build its frantic pace as the events unfold before us behind the camera, showing Doug’s sanity break down further as he watches her obsessively, with Nicholas paying reference to films like “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” “One Hour Photo,” and inadvertently “Amateur Pornstar Killer.” With excellent extras like an alternate ending, deleted scenes, and a director commentary, and stalker facts, Nicholas’ thriller is given the treatment it deserves.

What keeps “Alone with Her” a grueling experience is Nicholas’ ability to make the audience feel exposed and vulnerable all the while using us as voyeurs into the life of this young woman whose attack is imminent. We never see Doug until much later in the film which gives the audience a chance to feel rather disturbed that they’re actually the intruders.

With the constant tender moments in Amy’s life, and Doug’s inability to discuss actual topics with anyone without his psychological ticks rising to the surface, director Nicholas brings us in only as far as he wants, and reminds us again and again that Doug is interrupting, and corrupting this woman’s life while we watch helplessly. Nicholas never lets us forget that.



Posted on May 22, 2007 in Reviews by
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