“Alone Time” is one of the two shorts we will be watching this October, both of which are available on YouTube. The person who wrote the description about this short over on ranker.com really deserves an award. I mean the description was creepier than the short itself. Honestly, that’s the biggest problem I have with this short. I didn’t mind watching it, but the description did boost it up which led to me being disappointed by the end of it. Let’s jump into the plot so I can explain.
The Plot (Spoilers)
This short is about a woman who is basically just showing us what being an adult is like. She’s working a job that she doesn’t enjoy, doesn’t have a lot of friends, and just seems to be pretty lonely in general. On her commute, we can see two different men watching her and following her. Of course, she doesn’t notice this and continues living her life. Then, we see a weird shot happen between work and her at home getting smacked with a sleeping bag. She decides to cancel plans with her friend (we never see) and go camping for a few days alone. On her way out, she stops by a convenient store and buys a disposable camera. Then we see her hiking around in nature, taking pictures and just enjoying her time alone in the wilderness. We see her swim and get ready for bed. The next shot is of her getting her pictures developed and taking them home to relive the spontaneous weekend camping trip. Then she comes across pictures of her sleeping. Boom! THE END.
Okay, the basic concept of this plot is solid but it has been done plenty of times before. It is a creepy concept, looking at pictures of you asleep when you were alone. Yeah, creepy and violating. However, a disposable camera is loud as hell. There’s no way that she wouldn’t have heard it or been awaken by a flash of light multiple times. Also, how did her stalkers find her without her noticing? Were they just chilling in the woods in the distance waiting for her to go to sleep? Isn’t it hella risky to sneak in her camp and take pictures of her in the first place? Do these stalkers know each other and decided to work together? Or was it just one of them? Or someone new entirely? There are clearly some questions and concerns I have about this short, but overall it was a cool story. She’s lonely in a place full of people and decides to take a break by being alone. She’s tired of feeling invisible and decides to surround herself with nature, that way she’s alone by her choosing, she is taking back control. But little does she know, people are paying attention to her and she isn’t alone after all. It’s a good concept, but I don’t think this 12-minute short had a big enough payoff for me.
There are three main things that can qualify as being the “scares” in the short. The stalker on the subway platform, the stalker at the crosswalk, and the pictures revealing that she wasn’t alone after all. I like the subtleness of the scares, it gives a more genuine feel to the short. Most horror movies need those big scares to seal the deal, but most of the scares in this short were in the peripheral. If you weren’t really paying attention, you may have missed them. If the camera was a digital one, I think it would have made things a little more believable. They could have still had the same reveal if they wanted. No one really looks at their photos as soon as they take them. That’s really the only problem I had with this short, that and the length of it. If it wasn’t 12 minutes and had the same ending maybe the payoff would have been better. I don’t know, but what I do know is that this just proved to me why you should never camp in the first place.
I liked the actress in “Alone Time.” She didn’t have many lines but she was able to convey what she was going through. I believed that she had a shitty job and wanted some alone time. I guess the only problem I have with the “acting” would be the stalkers. I think it would have been better if it was just one dude stalking her, but maybe not. I do like the idea that she isn’t really ever alone or safe because everyone is watching her. But then it begs the question: who took the pictures? Is it realistic to think that someone from the city really followed her? What if there’s someone else she ran into on her way there that followed her? I don’t get how she could get that far and not notice someone following her. Other than that, it was real feeling. It felt like a real girl going through life. I liked it for that.
- The Plot: 6/10
- The Scares: 6/10
- The Acting: 7/10
If you have 12 minutes to spare for an old concept, this is the short for you. It isn’t particularly creepy or scary, but it is nice to look at. The production is nice and it does give off an authentic vibe.