“Oh, cool—what kind of photography?” she asks him from behind the wheel. “Mostly black-and-white landscapes,” he says offscreen. The line gets an uneasy laugh, not just for his earnest New Age guyness, but for the image that accompanies it: a low-angle invasive shot of her shapely upper body in, yes, black and white.
Brilliant-idea alert: Alone with Her is a stalker thriller shot completely from the perspective of several surveillance cams, planted in clock radios, belt buckles, bathroom mirrors. It’s a concept De Palma would have killed for. Extended completely—and acted with a rare degree of naturalism by Mexico’s Ana Claudia Talancn (mouse) and a carbed-up Colin Hanks (cat) playing two lonely Angelenos—the movie offers the most nail-biting use of lo-tech since The Blair Witch Project.
The plot grows increasingly dark as our pursuer, Doug, already a casual coffeehouse acquaintance, resorts to hair-raising extremes: calling on the phone when she’s middate with another guy, even breaking in and lacing her pillow with poison ivy.
You know the suspicious best friend (Spiro) won’t last long. For a euphoric moment, Alone with Her flirts with black comedy as, despite Doug’s unfair advantage, he still perversely seems destined for the friend zone. But even a conventional, albeit cynical, ending can’t ruin such effective mood-making. (Now playing; IFC Center.) — Joshua Rothkopf