(Film can be found online at http://www.getthefuckoutofmyhouse.com/)

 

Actress Wonder Russell lives in a haunted house.

That isn’t the tag line to the film, it’s an actual fact.

Although it could be the tag line to the film because, one day, Wonder Russell and film-makers Kris & Lindy Boustedt decided to make a film inside Wonder Russell’s haunted house starring Wonder Russell as a young woman who lives in a haunted house.

I’m still not sure whether that’s called art imitating life or Ms Russell playing chicken with the Afterlife. It is famously not a good idea to give a ghost your attention – most paranormal investigators will advise against even saying hello to a spirit unless you really know what you’re doing – so I can’t help thinking that moving a film crew into your haunted home and playing a character stalked by a ghost (presumably with the real-life ghost looking on and scratching its head) takes some balls. Either that, or the actress was already due to move out at the end of shooting so didn’t mind what they stirred up in the process.

But whatever the risks, this little gem of a movie was worth it.

Wonder Russell isn’t the household name she deserves to be. Check her credits on IMDb and you’ll discover she’s got an impressive body of work behind her (several of her other short films are also available to view online) but the only title UK viewers might recognise is ‘The Choke’, a 2004 indie horror which occasionally bubbles to the surface of the Horror Channel before sinking without trace again.

‘The Choke’ is a derivative stalk-and-slash film and Ms Russell was far and away the best part of it, playing the trademarked Jamie Lee-Curtis ‘good girl who has to kick ass’ role and giving the movie a much bigger heart than the finished product deserved.

It is absolutely no surprise that her great-aunt was motion picture firebrand Jane Russell and Wonder Russell has all that famous lady’s genes and more: in whatever she does she is magnetic to watch – smart, challenging, funny, vulnerable and real, and all those qualities are perfectly showcased in ‘ALONE’.

‘ALONE’ is thirty minutes of creepy goodness and Wonder Russell carries most of that screen-time on her own, the entire half hour beautifully shot in scalpel-sharp monochrome, the camera angles precisely conceived but not self-consciously so, every shot mirroring the psychological perspective of her character in a style that reminded me of Kubrick’s work on ‘The Shining’ because, although the framing looks right, it is also on some subliminal level just a little skewed.

After an evening of carrying boxes into her new home (where she is living – you guessed it – ALONE) she drops exhausted onto the mattress and says goodnight to the ceiling, the walls, the rooms with no furniture… making peace with her new environment until something so startling happens that it flash-forwards her into an almost comic sequence of chugging beer, dancing with a cushion (someone please tell me what that song on the radio is called!), trying to calm herself down, trying to convince herself that nothing weird is going on.

‘ALONE’ takes its time. The Boustedt’s don’t hurry a single thing and, because of that, the film almost seems to defy time itself: it feels far shorter than thirty minutes despite the fact it doesn’t rush towards its conclusion. They patiently observe their central character, they allow the atmosphere room to accumulate and they slow-burn the story in a way that reminded me a lot of Ti West’s ‘The Innkeepers’ (a film I loved when it was released back in 2011).

And, like all the best ghost stories, ‘ALONE’ has an ending that is as unexpected and as emotionally charged as it is memorable.

I don’t normally review short films but ‘ALONE’ is one exquisitely crafted movie you should not miss, and you’ve got no excuse for missing it because all you have to do is click on the URL at the top of this review to watch it.

And just incase scrolling back to the top is too much like hard work:

http://www.getthefuckoutofmyhouse.com/

There. Now you’ve got no excuses at all.

Enjoy ‘ALONE’ and thank me later. It is very very special.

 

VERDICT: [rating=5]

 

About The Author

Ian White is an author, screenwriter and journalist. His book ‘Witchcraft and Black Magic in British Cult Cinema’ was recently published by Hemlock and he is a regular contributor to ‘Paranormal Underground’ and ‘Starburst’ magazines. He’s currently writing a new book and screenplay and his embarrassingly out-of-date website can be found at http://ianwhitelondon.wix.com/ian-white