Grimmfest: Alone With You (2021)

Director: Emily Bennett, Justin Brooks

Running Time: 79 Minutes

Starring: Emily Bennett, Barbara Crampton, Dora Madison, Emma Myles, Meghan Lane

Filmed during the pandemic, writer-director duo Emily Bennett and Justin Brooks have crafted an effective piece of isolation horror. On their anniversary, Charlie Crane (Emily Bennett) waits at home for the return of her girlfriend Simone (Emma Myles). As the night goes on, Charlie discovers she's trapped inside her apartment as nightmarish visions descend. Appearing simple at face value, the film packs more underneath relating to the leads fracturing mindset in ways reminiscent of 1965's Repulsion.

Flashbacks are regularly intercut, depicting the happy times alongside the cracks in the relationship, although Charlie isn't keen to acknowledge the latter. She prefers to romanticise things than face reality, such as how the relationship has isolated her from everybody and kept her indoors. Bennett puts such tremendous work into her performance, capturing Charlie's terror as familiar surroundings become hellish distortions and she's made to confront the truth.

As Charlie struggles to escape her apartment, the initial intrigue and creepiness are lessened by pacing issues. The story becomes repetitive and dragged out after a point, although there remains effective moments surrounding these issues. There remains subtle scares and an unsettling score throughout, as Bennett and Brooks convey the atmosphere rather well amidst the short runtime.

Alone With You played at Grimmfest