EVERYONE has a different definition of what it means to love. But what happens when three isolated people with opposing ideas on love meet?
Directed by Marc Cartwright, WE DIE ALONE begins strong, offering us an insider view into what introverted Aidan (Baker Chase Powell) does with his free time. He’s awkward, offish and appears to be unable to talk to women in the real world, opting instead to speak online where he’s able to be whoever he wants to be. In the first few moments, Aidan appears to be a sympathetic character before the reveal that his dating struggles have severely affected his psyche in potentially damaging ways.
Following Aidan’s sheepish, yet tense introduction, we meet his co-worker, Elaine (Ashley Jones), whose personality and mannerisms made me feel immediate comfort. She’s kind, notably toward Aidan, as they seem to struggle similarly with getting themselves out there in the dating pool. The two share some kind of connection that you can sense as the viewer, giving one another awkward glances and shy conversation yet – there seems to be a disconnect in that neither seems to be able to gather the courage to make a move. As Aidan returns home from his day at work, he notices that he has a new neighbour who is locked out of her apartment, the beautiful yet distant Chelsea (Samantha Boscarino). The two share a similar trait in that they try to keep to themselves, rejecting certain aspects of modern technology with an ‘off the grid’ approach. They bond over a puzzle that Aiden had found at work, appreciating the activity with different perspectives, there’s a gentle hint at an awkward connection between the pair.
WE DIE ALONE sets up its characters beautifully. It does so much in so little time to ensure that we understand them, feel sympathy for them so that we, as the viewer, want to follow their stories. The subtlety to the acting and the shy, awkward interactions that each character shares further cements them in feeling three-dimensional and, when you think about it, relatable. We’ve all had conversations that end with long, uncomfortable pauses, where both parties can’t seem to say what they’re feeling. Marc Cartwright does an excellent job in bringing these characters to life, their quirks, and flaws on full display enhanced by the lingering, claustrophobic camera work that hints at something more sinister beneath the surface.
The short offers some brilliantly tense moments, letting us in closer as we begin to see Aidan’s psyche slipping, heightened by the use of David Williams’ haunting musical score that gets under the skin in the best way. It’s in these moments that this film comes into its own as a classic thriller, building anticipation as we, the audience, wonder where the story leads in Aidan’s desperate attempts to really connect with someone. In its final moments, WE DIE ALONE subverts expectations, delivering a twisted turn of events that cemented my full enjoyment of the film.
At its core, I think WE DIE ALONE is a wonderfully developed think piece about love and the complicated ways in which we define it. It asks divisive questions on identity and loneliness and the problems that come with preconceived notions of others, and it made me wonder “what does it mean to be yourself?” Most of all, it did its job exceptionally in drawing me into its story and characters and left me wanting more. I can’t recommend this film enough and think you should give it a watch when it arrives on Amazon Prime Video on August 21st.
You can find more about the film and it’s release via the WE DIE ALONE social media pages @wediealonefilm.