Not alone | Film threat

Not alone feels like a rip-off of many horror movies we’ve seen before. It is an aggregation of story elements taken from e.g. The Amityville horror, Sneak, The art of magicand American Horror Story: Murder House. There are a few significant changes in relation to its inspirations; however, one will not say that they are for the better. Scripture is what makes it lag behind. It is presented as a psychological thriller instead of a horror film, yet the writer-director duo Lydelle Jackson and Cezil Reed are unable to dive into the mental state of the main family as it tackles what haunts them.

The Lawsons – father Walter (Pat Healy), mother Shelly (Sarah Schroeder-Matzkin) with their children Tommy (Trevor Dolden) and Jess (Megan Ashley Brown) – good luck buying a mansion at a fairly cheap price, much lower than market interest rates. But after moving in, they find out that the place is haunted by an unidentified supernatural entity. Sounds like something you’ve heard before, right?

“…after moving in, they find out the place is haunted… ”

Through an opening sequence styled by occult rituals and processes, Not alone trying to capture the audience into what appears to be a terrifying account of supernatural events, filled with jump scares and eerie background music. But the filmmakers are suddenly changing direction and going in a different direction. Then there is the introduction of Dr. James Clay (Richard Lawson). The character comes to the Lawson family just as Ed and Lorraine Warren did to Perrons, but without the same significance.

The driving time also works against the flicker. Although it is almost 85 minutes, the film has so many subplots that it does not justify when it jumps from one to the other, leaving gaps, loopholes and a general feeling of lack of completeness. And so, when the story takes a marked turn, revealing the truth about the events the family is going through, it just becomes too bland to have any influence. While the plot is derived and the influences clearly visible, Jackson and Reed have tried to create something new in the climax, which unfortunately is not going well. It’s good to go out of the book and never stick to what defines a genre, but this horror offering gets caught up in its own web of derived stories. In fact, so much so that it fails to pick up speed when attempting.

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