[Sundance 2018] I Think We're Alone Now Review: A Meditative Look at the End of the World

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I Think We're Alone Now takes the post-apocalyptic genre and looks at it from he eyes of someone who feels more at home in a world without people.

Director: Reed Morano
Summary: Del (Peter Dinklage) is alone in the world. Literally. After the human race is wiped out, he lives in a small, empty town, methodically going from house to house, collecting batteries and other useful items, and burying the dead. He dines alone, reads, watches movies, and shelves books in the local library he's made his home. He's content in his solitude—until he discovers Grace (Elle Fanning), an interloper on his quiet earth. Her history and motives are obscure, and worse yet, she wants to stay.

I Think We're Alone Now
Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

At the end of days, does the question of "what happened?" really matter in the end? That is the first thing about I Think We're Alone Now that sets it apart from a lot of movies about the end of days or the end of humanity. In this case, the human race dropped dead for some reason, aside from Del (Peter Dinklage), who already felt lonely in a world populated by humans. Now he's in his quiet village alone and feels more at peace. That is, until Grace (Elle Fanning) shows up, and he has to come to terms with being around other people again.

The first part of I Think We're Alone Now is about Del and Grace getting to know each other and trying not to step on each other's boundaries. They are the only two people in the world, and there still isn't enough space to keep them from clashing.

Del is a fascinating character. He's a man who has taken to the end of days like a champ. He spends all of his time cleaning out his small town and burying the dead. One of the first things Grace asks is, "where is the smell?" as in, "where is the smell of the corpses?" Del has been slowly but surely burying his entire town as he loots their houses for useful material. The movie takes the slow burn approach — it just doesn't tell us that Grace and Del start to care about each other, it shows us that they start to care. They still butt heads and they still don't entirely get along, but they feel something for each other that isn't easy to define.

Then the third act rolls around and the movie goes a bit off of the rails. To get into what exactly goes on would be spoiling it, but it goes from meditative to high concept in about .5 seconds and the juxtaposition doesn't entirely work. Director Reed Morano and writer Mike Makowsky seem keen to tackle some big ideas by the end, but they almost feel like they belong in a different movie. To be as vague as possible, the question of painful memories and whether or not they are worth anything is brought up, but the third act doesn't quite mesh with the first two, so it stumbles a bit by the end.

I Think We're Alone Now looks at the end of humanity and asks what exactly makes us human. Is it our relationships with other people? How we react to certain situations? While the questions get a bit weird by the end, the first two acts are pretty stellar — even if the whole thing doesn't quite hold together.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com
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