Magazine article Screen International

'I Think We're Alone Now': Sundance Review

Magazine article Screen International

'I Think We're Alone Now': Sundance Review

Article excerpt

Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning are reluctant companions for the end of the world

I Think We’re Alone Now

Dir: Reed Morano. US. 2018. 100mins

No matter the situation - even if it’s the end of the world - people have an astounding ability to dictate how they feel about their circumstances. That intriguing message slowly emerges from I Think We’re Alone Now, a smart, moody post-apocalyptic drama that honours genre conventions before niftily readjusting them.

Handling of the surprises has a narrative deftness and visual cleverness that is legitimately unbalancing

Premiering in Sundance’s US Dramatic Competition, Alone Now calls to mind several recent intimate, character-driven post-apocalyptic stories on the big screen (Z ForZachariah, It Comes At Night) and on television (The Leftovers, Last Man On Earth). But while audience fatigue may limit box office, the cast’s star power should help overcome that obstacle somewhat.

Taking place in upstate New York after an unspecified global devastation has wiped out humanity, the film stars Peter Dinklage as Del, who spends his days cleaning up the houses of the deceased, including burying the corpses and grabbing whatever usable supplies he can. Del seems relatively content with this solitary existence, so the arrival of Grace (Elle Fanning), a young woman who’s decided to use the end of the world as an opportunity to do some cross-country sightseeing, doesn’t exactly fill his heart with joy.

Working from a script by Mike Makowsky, Morano (an executive producer on the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale) instantly immerses us in Del’s desolate, quiet small town. Drawing on her years as a cinematographer, she effortlessly crafts a world in which there is no electricity, fashioning every gorgeous scene with hazy natural light and elegant shadows.

There’s a palpable sense that time has stopped as Del and Grace slowly adjust to occupying the same space, and much of the movie concerns the nagging friction between them. Grace wants to chat so that they can get to know one another, but Del remains distant, almost sad to learn that he isn’t the last human alive. …

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