Alone Together is writer-director Will Kresch’s first feature-length movie after having helmed one short prior. The thriller is also co-writer A.V. Bach’s first screenplay of any kind. Its stars are also fairly green, with Matthew Kresch having two credits and DeAnna S. Wright having three. Can all these people who are new to the filmmaking game strike gold, or are they in over their heads?
Nassdja (Wright) and her boyfriend, Luke (Kresch), are currently going through a rough patch. Their feelings are only exacerbated by the pandemic shutdown, especially since her dad has Covid-19. To try and smooth things over and be as safe as possible, the couple decided to stay at Luke’s family cabin. Unfortunately, the rural setting makes Nassdja feel even more isolated and brings out the worst tendencies in Luke. Is Nassdja safe, and can she find the inner strength to leave her abusive significant other?
There’s a lot to love in Alone Together, but it is not all great. The inclusion of Nassdja’s hallucinations of a militia man roaming the woods and threatening her undercut the overall message. Since it takes a while for the abuse to be revealed, making the lead unreliable throws a wrench into the proceedings. How much of what happened before actually happened versus Nassdja imagined it? This question eventually dissipates as things get far more involved, but it does hurt the first half.
“…the rural setting makes Nassdja feel even more isolated and brings out the worst tendencies in Luke.”
However, the director nails the ending in every imaginable way. It’s exciting, intense, empowering, and absolutely works. In large part, this is because the actors give 110%. Wright brilliantly embodies the pain, confusion, and anger of someone trapped in a tragic and violent situation. Kresch is charming enough to help viewers understand why Nassdja would be drawn to him but erratic enough to be dangerous.
The editing, courtesy of Eddie Shore, is also masterful. Nassdja’s nightmares, shot in black and white, bleed together, causing all watching to be as disoriented as the lead. When she’s running through the woods, the way the edits build tension is incredible. The cinematography creates a sense of unease that rarely lets up.
Alone Together is an excellent, though flawed, early step in its creators’ oeuvre. The actors all deliver, and the editing is stupendous. The story takes a while to get going, but it pays off wonderfully at the end.
"…an excellent, though flawed, early step..."