HOW TO BE ALONE (2019)

How To Be Alone Poster

The twelve minute short How To Be Alone is the directorial debut of Kate Trefry who is best known for her work as a writer on the show Stranger Things. Here she takes a darkly funny look at the perils of being left alone overnight.

Jack (Joe Keery, Stranger Things, Spree) is leaving for his twelve-hour shift. This leaves Lucy (Maika Monroe, It Follows, Villains) alone for the night, something she’s not happy about. But she has a plan, and a checklist of what to do and not do.

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The threats she faces though are much more existential than supernatural. They’re childbirth and motherhood, relationships and abandonment taking physical form. Forms that include a gas mask-wearing Gimp (Evan Miller, Terror Birds).

What she’s feeling will be very familiar to anyone who’s spent a sleepless night worried about their finances, their relationship, etc. How To Be Alone does have a very authentic feel to those fears. Probably because of Trefry’s own pregnancy during the development and shooting of the project. The way it’s presented visually and accompanied by Lucy’s inner monologue makes it by turns frightening and funny as well as relatable.

Focusing on an ominous cabinet that acts as a portal for her fears. And utilizing lighting that goes from dark and ominous to almost neon the film has a look that matches its story. Not to mention on of the more bizarre final shots in recent memory.

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Trefry has made the Young and Hungry list and had a couple of scripts make The Black List. That talent shows through here and hopefully, this will help get one of her feature-length works produced. Quite possibly even with her directing, she shows quite a bit of potential in that department as well here.

How To Be Alone made its debut in this year’s SXSW Midnight Shorts selection and will be turning up at other festivals. It’s worth catching if it plays near you.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy

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