Film Review: Alienated is quiet, subtle and eerily accurate

Alienated


I received this screener on behalf of Gravitas Ventures and One Way or Another Productions.

At first glance, this film seems like a science-fiction drama/thriller but it is nothing like that. The plot involves a young couple (Nate and Page played respectively by George Katt & Jen Burry) dealing with their own insecurities and subtle differences in attitude, political views, and personalities while spending a few nights in their home. Meanwhile, on two separate occasions, Nate spots some strange lights in the sky and believes it to be a spacecraft. They also have a strange neighbour (played by the late Taylor Negron) who seemingly knows more than he leads on somehow.

This is a very dialogue-heavy film. In fact, it could easily be a play much in the same way that I thought The Hateful Eight could’ve acted as one. Therefore, this is also a movie that lives and dies by its actors. A film like this can not have weak performances and luckily, we have two very capable actors in the lead who we spend almost 80 uninterrupted minutes with aside from a couple of short diversions. The two leads have very solid chemistry with each other and play off each other quite well. I never thought for one second that they didn’t act like a genuine couple and even some of the things they argued about reminded me of my own life over the years. Taylor Negron is also a very welcome addition to the film. This was, in fact, the last movie he ever starred in before his untimely passing and he went out with a very memorable performance. He is subtle and nuanced and you can see that an actor like this pays attention to details when he performs and that he really puts his all into the part.

This is almost hard to discuss without giving too many plot details away because the dialogue-driven film just unravels before your very eyes as the characters reveal their true nature just through their questions and accusatory tone alone. It’s something to witness. I will say that the best scene in the film is one in which Paige is in the bathtub arguing with Nate, which finally sets him off. It just shows that once we see the ugly true nature of people, it can completely catch us off-guard as he suddenly goes from quite unrest to a screaming rage. It’s also a very funny scene but more in the sense of being funny in a quiet and subtle way. I literally can’t say anything else without ruining the film though. Just check it out for yourself on Video-on-Demand and enjoy it.

****

 

Rating System:

* (Brutal; the worst rating)

** (Some elements keep it from being awful but still not very good)

*** (Completely watchable; a rental as old-timers might say)

**** (Great film with a few things here and there keeping it from being perfect)

***** (Flawless; a true achievement)