An evil entity begins to torment a mother and daughter, who are forced to face the inexplicable presence that inhabits the walls of their new home.
“You’re Not Alone” begins with Emma, our focal character, reliving a suicide attempt she made years ago. That attempt led to her not being involved her daughter’s upbringing. That is, until the death of her husband years later, and the court gives her custody of both the husband’s assets and their daughter.
The kid’s grandmother who has been involved with the child her entire life is not pleased. Don’t worry; she is never a concern again.
The two live in the house the couple bought before the birth of the daughter, and that the father and daughter had been living in since. In short order, strange noises and activated security systems begin troubling the mother and her young child.
As things get weirder, there are indications that the child may be involved. And Emma keeps dreaming of suicide.
And then people in her life begin disappearing.
My, what a pickle to be in!
“You’re Not Alone” wants to be a thriller while playing on multiple tropes borrowed from haunted house movies, stalker movies, spousal abuse dramas, and “Is she or Ain’t She Nuts” films. These basically exist to muddy the water so the audience doesn’t jump to the most direct (and most likely correct) conclusion 30 minutes or less into the run time. Even the final truth plays out in an almost surreal, body/house horror touch that is the only major highlight of the film even though it does not figure into the resolution.
For a film that is basically video backstock to allow streaming services to crow, “We have about a bagillion and one movies!”, this little fluff-bunny gives you what you ask for. People in peril. Granted, it does spice things up slightly with a bit of violence involving the kid, but adults get the worst of it. There are attempts to misdirect the viewer’s attention that this type of film requires. You get lots of “very concerned” conversations. Wrap things up with an extended action climax. Basic suspense/thriller, as ordered.
No complaints really. Is it any good? Not really. It is functional, adequate. It is there for people who want some moving wallpaper that allows them to say they watched this movie or that film to feel as if they are interacting with reality, even if it through their digital subscription service and only chatted about through a messaging system while working remotely from home.
I could talk about the weird story failures, such as the kid playing hide and seek with her mom’s best friend but never mentioning the friend disappeared while hiding in a closet. Not even when the mom FINALLY goes looking for that same friend. Or the strange audio thing where the kid’s voice will suddenly sound like someone poorly imitating a squeaky kid’s voice. Or the fact that the lead actress has about three expressions, and you get to see her cycle through those babies whether she’s threatened, happy, or taking a major dump. (For those with scatological leanings, she doesn’t do that. It was hyperbole in a bombastic vein.)
Why do I defend this as being merely meh? After enough years watching movies of all levels of quality, you should stop expecting every single movie to be the greatest thing ever made, and if it isn’t, that does not give you a right to savage something that never strove for the heights you imagined. This is a Lifetime-version of the more brutal horror films real horror fans want. Shredding it for not painting the sets with gore and torture is akin to denouncing chocolate ice cream for not tasting like a freaking hamburger.
If you wanted something that leaves you feeling like a moose slammed you in the gut and you chose this to watch, just accept you made a bad choice and stop blaming the film. “You’re Not Alone” is not clever or suspenseful or even scary, but that does not make it the worst thing made this year. Hell, that doesn’t even make it the worst thing made this week as long as we have the CW Network around.