MOMENTUM PICTURES (2018)
Director: Reed Morano
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Paul Giamatti
“The beating of our hearts is the only sound…”
I unashamedly admit to loving Tiffany’s (cover of) I Think We’re Alone Now – full of 80s synthy goodness and will happily wail away in the car fully aware of the bewildered stares I receive. It reminds me of horror movies gone by (most recently, the uninspiring The Strangers: Prey at Night) and my just-out-of-nappies-youth. So I was pleasantly excited about a movie sharing its title that starred Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning and had Reed Morano directing it all.
It’s a post-apocalyptic world and Del (Dinklage) is living a life of peace and solitude as seemingly the last human alive. By day, he clears the local streets and houses of the dead and by night, fishes for his meal and enjoys a glass of wine in his home – the library. When he discovers Grace (Fanning) unconscious in a drunken stupor, he takes her in hoping she will soon leave. However, the bubbly teen has no desire to be alone and the two gingerly begin to learn to get along. On their journey, Del learns that by hiding himself in his own town, he’s sheltered himself from some major truths out there in the bigger world.
The two leads – who are pretty much the only characters in the entire movie – and choice of director gave me optimism that I Think We’re Alone Now could be another indie diamond waiting to be devoured. Sure enough, a promising opening act kept that sanguinity bubbling away, however, as the movie wore on, the confidence started to fall away and by the end of the movie, I was left feeling uninspired and slightly bored.
There can be no issues with the performances, Dinklage is again very good here, all bearded and serious. He is able to bring a certain quality to most things he’s in (except Pixels, because…god damn) and seems to do well in these somber, reflective roles. Fanning plays the impulsive yet somehow monotone role so well once again and the two (crucially) have a good chemistry with the little they say to each other.
It’s a quiet movie, voices are often hushed and large periods of silent montages are frequent as Adam Taylor’s score may as well be the third lead in the movie. Frustratingly, the story is nothing particularly exciting as it turns out and just feels very familiar – especially in the way the third act really goes off-kilter in a different – lacklustre – direction. A few good moments (the beautiful fireworks scene early on, the burying of the dead, quiet moments with our leads together) are surrounded by a whole lot of nothingness as themes of contemplation and companionship/community, whilst admirable, fall short by the end of the movie. On that, there’s no real satisfaction in the way the movie ends, it feels half-baked and not entirely in keeping with the previous ninety-minutes of story/themes.
Whilst watching I Think We’re Alone Now, I kept finding myself thinking, “This is the most Netflix movie that isn’t actually on Netflix”. A brooding, pondering affair, Dinklage and Fanning’s committed performances can’t help this get above second gear.
Sadly, the titular song does not make an appearance.
September 25th 2018