'I Think We're Alone Now' begins in classic post-apocalyptic style: eerie shots of an abandoned road and a tattered American flag. It slowly becomes clear that an epidemic has infected and killed the entire population, except for a lucky few. Reed Morano’s science-fiction film, which premiered at the Sundance Festival earlier this year, was full of promise, but at many points felt like it was only skimming the surface of an intriguing world. The film lacked flow as scenes darted between each other too soon to create a disjointed effect. Perhaps ultimately it aided the feeling of confusion and isolation of the environment the audience is witnessing.
Morano makes plenty of establishing shots at the beginning, but the emphasis on the emptiness drags on slightly too much. Our protagonist, Del, an ex-librarian and survivor, is first found breaking and entering into an unknown house. Quickly and efficiently, he proceeds to sanitise the interiors, and bury the deceased victims of the epidemic. Though the beginning lacks any dialogue, Del, played brilliantly by Peter Dinklage, carries the film with his finest grit. Del’s discovery of another survivor provokes a needed change in pace and initiates the intriguing relationship between the pair. Grace, played by Elle Fanning, enters the film with a punch as she asks Del if he’s okay with letting the human race go extinct. The film is heavily reliant on the performances of Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, as they craft the perplexing dynamic through their intimate conversations. Grace’s mysterious scar on the back of her neck keeps us hooked, and makes us wary of her, whilst also creating a needed closeness between the audience and herself.
The film speeds up with the sudden and unexplained arrival of Grace’s parents, who had previously been thought to have been dead. The pair, played by Paul Giamatti and Charlotte Gainsbourg, add a new layer to the story. Seated around the breakfast table, the film could be mistaken for a psychological family drama. The grand reveal is innovative and creative but needed to have been revealed earlier, or equally the film would have benefited from being extended. If it had been the pilot to a new television series, audiences would have waited eagerly for the next installment. With scientists waiting for the next global epidemic, the film taps into a very real modern day threat. The film coincides with the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 Spanish Influenza, which killed approximately somewhere between 50-100 million worldwide. Indeed, the harrowing premise poses thought-provoking questions about how the survivors should move forward. If a pandemic wiped out large sways of the world’s population, should the survivors begin again in ignorant bliss and forget? Overall, a Thelma and Louise-esque road trip rounds off a watchable post-apocalyptic film.
'I Think We're Alone Now' will be arriving on Amazon Prime Video soon.