Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Itís going to take a while before Colin Hanks, whoís damn near thirty years old, can do anything having anything to do with a movie and be known as an actor in whatever movie heís in, as opposed to being know as Tom Hanks son.  I mean dudes old man is a certified legend.  Itís akin to a kid named Jordan trying to play basketball, a kid named Montana lacing up football cleats or a kid named Gretzsky trying put on hockey skates.  But here goes a kid named Hanks trying to act and happening to be pretty good at it.  It helps that Colin Hanks doesnít have the natural charm of his father.  This is not an insult because who this side of Jimmy Stewart possesses Tom Hanks natural likeability?  Who in the world dislikes Tom Hanks?  There may be some people who are ambivalent towards the elder Hanks, but Iím fairly certain thereís nobody, at least who doesnít know the man personally, who actually dislikes Tom Hanks.  There are people out there who actively dislike Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson or Russell Crowe, but NOBODY dislikes Tom Hanks.  And if you do, then youíre the one with the problem buddy.  Unless you know him personally, then all bets are off because Iím sure heís an asshole like everybody else on the planet.  It also helps Colin Hanks to further distance himself from fatherís omnipresent shadow by showing up in creepy movies playing real creepy dudes like this cat Doug in the real creepy ĎAlone with Herí.

Shot entirely from the point of view of whatever camera the voyeuristic Doug happens to be using at the time, we meet Doug at as he walks around town, video camera in a gym bag spying on unsuspecting females.  I mean he looks up their skirts, down their shirts and is really just an overall creepy kind of guy.  What heís really looking for is a vulnerable victim who he finds in the freshly unattached Amy (Ana Claudia Talancon) who sits in the park with her dog, crying and depressed as she observes a young

couple in the park.  Victim now in his sights Doug locks in on integrating himself into her life by first staking out her routine and then breaking into her apartment and inserting hidden cameras all over, such as in the bathroom radio, thermostat and other inconspicuous locations.

With his cameras in place Doug is able to monitor everything about Anaís life, and I do mean everything, including a disturbing scene involving a hairbrush.  Armed with all the info he needs Doug shows up at places she likes to go, he seems to like the same kind of music that Ana likes, love the same kinds of movies, have similar interest and a lot in common.  Anaís not really attracted to Doug but he always seems to be there with the right solution for whatever sudden spate of problems she seems to be experiencing, all caused by her new admirer of course.  Anaís good buddy Jen (Jordan Shapiro) is getting some bad vibes about this guy, but Doug even finds a way to make that work in his favor, sort of.  It would seem that all of Dougís hard work has finally paid off as the lithe Latin cutie canít ignore fate any longer, no matter how little she is attracted to the dude.  Well at least thatís how it should have worked in theory.  The reality turned into something altogether different.

Directed by Eric Nicholas, the fact that all of the shots in this film were from the point of view of some hidden camera initially seemed like gimmick that would quickly grow tiresome but to the contrary it was quite an effective device from start to finish.  You almost watched Anaís every private moment with guilt as she went through her life completely unaware that she is being observed not only by this socially retarded stalker but by us as well.  Considering the confines that the actors where working with in regards to the camera, the performances by both Hanks and Talancon were very good and though Iím sure the edit for this thing had to be a major challenge, again considering the limitations of what they were working with, the filmmakers were able to craft a narrative that had a very good pace and flow to it and was ultimately a very entertaining thriller. The one flaw it may have had was that it did drag a bit in some parts, but this was not completely unexpected considering the films relatively narrow focus.

ĎAlone with Herí is a testament to the spirit of filmmaking in that with a modest budget, a clever idea and a little bit of creativity that it is still possible to create compelling cinema. I would suggest that anybody interested in a film that is a bit off the beaten path and comes at you from a different angle give ĎAlone with Herí a chance.

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