Written and directed by Matthew Mahler (What Jack Built), one man’s grief takes him on a dark exploration of his own faith and well-being. Starring: Timothy J. Cox, Maggie Kurth and John Mahler.
To Be Alone begins on an entrancing score that sublimely gets under your skin while the monotonousness of routine unfolds before your eyes, perfectly stone-faced and mysteriously lethargic William played by Cox. There’s an almost immediate recall for anyone who has ever watched the beloved Hitchcock classic, Psycho, minus the suspicious charisma of Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates. The sole male who appears to have a secret and you can’t wait to discover what that might be, all the while bubbling under the surface of the overly controlled protagonist, wonderfully portrayed by Cox.
Not only is there brilliant acting, direct and writer Mahler, working with cinematographer Jonathon Giannotte, take full advantage of the natural elements to add an inherent quality to the short film. It feels at times almost minimalist, fly on the wall type film-making and yet the quality is hugely consistent, it’s sharp and eerily quiet. Very rarely do we see the full picture, pulling your eye into the detail and keeping you guessing about the story’s resolution; it’s classic and effective.
To Be Alone is strong, captivating, satisfyingly slow-building and packed with tension. Cox is fascinating to watch as William and this is a short film that you should definitely watch.
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