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PLOT: A Cam Girl isolating out in a cabin in the woods, finds herself being stalked by a psychopath.

REVIEW: Like the recently released Sick, Alone At Night is a pandemic slasher. But this takes a considerably different approach, so if you’re worried about crossover, don’t. If anything, the pandemic is more in the background and this is more about an isolated cam girl played by Ashley Benson. At least that’s part of the movie. There’s also a whole storyline with a bunch of Influencers living in a Big Brother-style pad. In some ways, it feels like they didn’t want to commit to a full-blown horror movie.

Like most slashers, there doesn’t need to be a grand story at play, there just needs to be a killer and a final girl. We’ve got Vicky (Benson) staying at an isolated cabin in the woods so the setup is perfect. She’s a Cam Girl who has several clients, and one of them is creepy. So creepy that he murders her boyfriend and starts stalking her in real life. There’s also a really funny client of hers played by Luis Guzman but, like many characters in this, he’s mostly just there to fill time.

The cast here is one of the most eclectic I’ve ever seen in a movie. Ashley Benson, G-Eazy, Paris Hilton, Winnie Harlowe, and Pamela Anderson make up our group of thespians and I think the most shocking aspect is how competent they are. I was expecting some hammy, winking at the camera-style acting, but everyone fully commits. And maybe it’s just my enjoyment of the Hulu show Pam and Tommy, but I got a lot of joy out of Anderson’s performance here. She seemed excited to actually act and not just portray herself on camera for once.

Ashley Benson in Alone At Night (2023).

I have to be honest, I still have no idea what the point of the Trap House segments were. They were so silly and didn’t fit with the tone of the rest of the film. I’m not sure if they just felt the Vicky stuff was too dark so they needed to break it up with something lighter or what. Part of me thinks they were just trying to get the film to 90 minutes. I kept waiting for it to come back around in a way that affected the A plot but it didn’t happen. Either way it really doesn’t work and mostly just feel like extremely unnecessary detours. At least it provided a few laughs.

I always enjoy a slasher where the killer is a mystery and we get to slowly figure it out as the film goes on. Unfortunately here, it’s extremely obvious from the onset as to who it is, so there’s no mystery. But even still, it is a twist so I’m not going to spoil it here. I actually really enjoyed the killer’s performance as well. He feels like just the right level of incel and psychopath. I’ll always enjoy a “crazed’ performance and this guy was really fun. And I really enjoyed the usage of a crowbar as the main weapon. It’s not a common slasher weapon, so it gives the movie a little more identity.

Alone at Night feels very 2023 with its use of Cam Girls and commentary on Incels. It’s a bit of a mixed bag and I would have liked it considerably more without the Trap House angle. The story itself has a lot of potential, and the Trap House-meta angle completely ruins it. There’s a pretty interesting slasher here, and Benson gives a great performance in the lead. But the overall package just doesn’t come together in an impactful way.

Alone at Night is ON DEMAND/DIGITAL ON JANUARY 20TH, 2023.



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