I Think We're Alone Now (R)

Drama 99 min. September 14, 2018
By Lara Zarum
In the first minutes of I Think We’re Alone Now, director Reed Morano’s camera stalks the streets of a quaint American town, like a New York Times Trump-voter profile come to life. But something’s off: The town, near the Hudson River, is empty. Del (Peter Dinklage) breaks into a deserted house, collecting the batteries from all the electronics he can find. When he finds corpses, he wraps them in blankets and drags them by the feet into a makeshift graveyard. This macabre routine is soon interrupted by Grace (Elle Fanning), who drives into town and worms her way into Del’s life.

Eventually, Mike Makowsky’s script reveals that Del’s shtick is in response to an epidemic in which people have just started dropping dead. “They could reanimate all of a sudden,” Del says, cryptically; the situation is hazy, and Makowsky favors intimation over explanation. It’s an approach that suits Morano’s exploratory style (she also serves as the film’s cinematographer); her camera roves over the vacant town, savoring the glowing, otherworldly light of empty spaces.

From there, the story treads a well-worn path. Grace wins Del over with her easy charm; a montage unfolds of their new regimen, a slideshow of life after apocalypse in which each day is the same as the last, Groundhog Day without all the people. Despite the efforts of Dinklage and Fanning, both always pleasant enough to watch, and Morano’s keen eye — witness how she rarely puts Del and Grace together in one frame — neither character really comes to life, and the script proves too conventional.
Reed Morano Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning Mike Makowsky Momentum Pictures

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