Anime Reporter keeps all the lights on and covers all the mirrors to bring you my take on Alone, the 2007 Thai horror film directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom, the duo who worked on the horror flick, Shutter, which is… terrifying.
The film starts off on the birthday of Pim, a young Thai woman living in Korea with her boyfriend, Wee. Pim’s birthday party is going well, with plenty of merry-making and banter, but, after things wind down, she gets an unfortunate call telling her that her mother has been hospitalised in Thailand and it doesn’t look good. Pim and Wee make the trek back to her hometown to look after her mother and her house until she can be released from hospital. While there, Pim is hit with reminder after reminder of the conjoined twin sister she left behind, Ploy. We learn that Ploy died years earlier when the sisters were separated though it not something anyone seems too keen to talk about.
When mirrors and dreams start to conjure up visions of a pale, grotesque double of Pim, it’s not long before spookiness ensues big time and Wee enlists the help of a psychiatrist to get to the bottom of what he sees as Pim’s manifestations of guilt and grief. Pim’s sure that it’s something else, something that’s been waiting for her and doesn’t want her to live anymore.
We’re also treated to a few flashbacks of the girls’ youth and the time when they first met Wee, as well as uncovering a few details of his involvement in the events leading to Ploy’s death.
The entire film is filled with jumps and moments of sheer creepiness. No less could rightfully be expected from the team behind Shutter. The plot is definitely haunting and mixes in human elements of fear alongside the supernatural bumps and boos. There might just be a few viewers unsure until the very end whether or not the entire thing is in Pim’s head. The main criticism of the plot is that it can be fairly disjointed, with very brief scenes jumping hours without carrying much in the way of story and there are quite a few scenes of the “I’m all alone and scary things are happening” style which follow directly on from each other.
The effects are nice, just providing the minimum required for good shock value without going overboard in terms of CGI or ghostly sightings. The soundtrack, as is often the case, is where a large amount of the film’s tension comes from and there are strong, building waves of unease scattered throughout.
Twins are a pretty well established trope in the horror genre but Alone manages to pull off a few surprises and makes for a genuinely jarring film experience.
Special Effects: 7.5
76% – “Unsettling” – Alone is a jumpy, tension-packed creepfest with just enough plot to keep you watching and just enough scares to keep you awake for hours afterwards.