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Alone With Her (2006)

DVD Cover (IFC Films)
Genres / Traits:
Psychological Thriller, Thriller, Cinéma Vérité
Director:
Eric Nicholas Eric Nicholas
Starring:
Colin Hanks Colin Hanks
Ana Claudia Talancón Ana Claudia Talancón
Jordana Spiro Jordana Spiro
Jonathon Trent Jonathon Trent
Alex Boling Alex Boling
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6.1 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: August 07, 2015
Okay, confession time: I'm probably going to come across as pretty creepy in this review. You see, Alone With Her is a voyeuristic tale of a man who stalks a young lady and manipulates his way into her life, eventually causing her to fall for him even though everything that he has told her is a lie. It's not exactly a classic love story, but oddly enough, I found it pretty romantic. Most people won't, I'll admit that, and again, mentioning this will probably seem a little creepy to most of you who watch the movie. It's certainly not the intention of the storyline, but that's how I took it at times. Yeah, the guy is a little crazy, and yeah, he does go to extreme lengths to get what he wants, but it's pretty cute to see what he'll do to win the affection of this woman. Your mileage may vary in this regard, and it probably will, but that's how I saw things.

As mentioned, the plot follows Doug (Colin Hanks), a creepy young man who enjoys filming random women in public. He'll go to the beach and conceal his camera in a bag, and use it to get shots of the bikini-clad women in various compromising positions. Women bending over to look at things in stores are also fair game. It's all a little sleazy, until the day that he sees Amy (Ana Claudia Talancón) in a local park. He instantly falls in love with her and she becomes the sole target of his desires, but instead of doing things the normal way and simply talking to her, he tracks her down and finds out everything that he can about her... including her address. He breaks into her apartment and installs hidden cameras all throughout the place, and this is how we watch most of the movie. Using these cameras, he is able to find out everything about her and use it to his advantage when he finally does work up the nerve to talk to her in person. He knows her favorite band, so he offers to take her out to see them. He knows about her dreams of making a living out of painting, so he gets her fired from her real job, sets her up to sell her art to a local restaurant, and then buys all of her paintings himself (without her knowing who really bought them). Thus, she is making a living from her art, even though she doesn't know that the man who is trying to win her over while secretly stalking her is the one buying them.

It's all well and good, until Doug discovers that Amy is interested in another man. You see, up until this point, Amy simply sees Doug as a good friend. They get along wonderfully and she knows that he is helping her out in various ways, but due to his shyness, he never reveals how he truly feels about her. When he sees her with the other man, he does everything in his power to ruin the relationship. He watches their date nights through his hidden cameras and calls at the worst times to ruin the moods. He breaks into her house and injects her milk with some sort of chemical that causes her to become violently ill on a night that she was supposed to go out with this new guy. He even places some type of bacteria on her pillow and sheets that causes her to break out in a horrible rash... again, causing her to have to cancel dates with the new guy. After all this, who is there to make her feel better? Go figure, our hero knows exactly when to swoop in and cheer her up. Things start to take a turn for the worse when Amy's friends become suspicious of Doug, and when the truth starts to slip out, things quickly become very tense between everyone involved.

Are you seeing why I fully admit that finding all of this a little romantic may seem a little creepy of me? I get that, I really do. However, I think it's very sweet to see the lengths that this man will go to in order to win the affection of the woman that he desires more than anything. He may push the limits a little at times, such as when he watches her masturbate with a brush and then breaks in the next day in order to smell it, but most of it is pretty damned sweet. For example, he watches her sleep and he himself sleeps at the desk, sleeping "with her", in effect. Tell me that isn't cute in a creepy sort of way. Maybe it's just me, though. I've never been accused of being a conventional sort of guy when it comes to relationships.

In order to play up the hidden camera aspect, the film is shown through the various cameras that he has rigged up. Most of them are stationary cameras hidden inside her apartment, so there's no shaky cam in the vast majority of the scenes. However, there are times when he uses a camera hidden in his shirt, and as expected, those get a little shaky. This didn't bother me in the least, but I tend to like these kinds of movies. With that said, those of you who don't will be pleased to know that it mostly plays out like a "traditional" movie, with the only exception being that the cameras are stationary. It adds realism and a cinéma vérité vibe to the affair without resorting to the usual shaky cam elements, and I thought that it was an excellent compromise.

Aiding the film is the fact that the two leads are both excellent in their respective roles. Colin Hanks plays the creepy, nerdy guy to perfection, and while I found his methods a little romantic, I can fully understand why most would see him as a creep. He plays that role excellently, and again, I can see why most would be disgusted by him and find his actions incredibly invasive and deplorable. He will definitely make you feel something, that's for damned sure. Ana Claudia Talancón is also great as the innocent young woman who is completely naive to the things that this man is doing to her, and it's easy to feel sorry for her when we see what she goes through with him. There are a handful of other characters that briefly pop up throughout the movie, but these two take up the bulk of the running time and are both perfect in their roles.

Overall, I'm giving Alone With Her a thumbs up and a solid recommendation. It's an interesting tale of stalking and voyeurism, and if you have a bit of a twisted mind, it definitely brings some romance to the table in a creepy sort of way. Even if you're a little more normal than me and find this sort of thing invasive and appalling, you'll be happy to know that the movie is well worth your time thanks to a fairly original plot which is told in a modern sort of way, with characters that we can get behind and acting that makes it all work. Check it out. 8/10.
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