In the film “Alone with Her,” the socially awkward, mentally unbalanced, and perverted Doug, is portrayed by Golden Globe nominee Colin Hanks (Fargo). Not much is known about him. He claims to be a sales representative, but he’s never shown working at a business, or interacting with clients. He also states that he’s originally from Seattle, where his parents – his father, a retired doctor, and his mother – still reside, but when asked about Seattle, he doesn’t seem to know much about life in the west coast, seaport city. The one aspect of Doug’s life, that is made clear to the viewer, is that he has become obsessed with Amy (Ana Claudia Talancon). She is an attractive female, who he spots while surreptitiously videotaping people in the park.
It doesn’t take Doug long to begin to stalk Amy, who is an aspiring artist. Doug, however, takes his new found infatuation for her, to a whole other level. He’s not content to merely follow her around, and video tape her from afar, hoping to, perhaps, one day, work up the courage to actually begin a conversation with her. No, shortly after spotting her, Doug purchases the latest technical gadgets available to the public, from an electronics store, informing the salesman that he’s worried about his child being abused by the infant’s nanny. Once Doug has his equipment, he waits for Amy to leave her apartment, and he breaks in, and sets up a number of wireless cameras, to cover every conceivable location of the apartment. (As an aside: The entire film is shown through either Doug’s camcorder, which he seemingly keeps with him at all times, hidden in his backpack, or through the surveillance footage of Amy’s apartment).
As time passes, Doug begins to learn Amy’s likes and dislikes, while sifting through hours of recorded footage. Armed with the information, he arranges a chance meeting with her at a coffee shop. He is holding in his hand, a copy of a DVD of a movie that Amy had rented the previous evening. Doug knows from Amy’s reactions to the film, that she clearly enjoyed watching it. He even mentions to her what he knows was her favorite part of the film. The meeting is the beginning of a number of chance encounters with Amy, where each time, Doug imparts to her, more information, that lets her know that they have a great deal in common.
While Doug might want to move toward being in a relationship with Amy, the feeling, at first, is not mutual. Firstly, Amy is asked out by Matt (Jonathan Trent), a guy, who she is interested in dating. Secondly, Amy’s friend Jen (Jordana Ariel Spiro) thinks that Doug comes across as too good to be true. He always is there, in essence, to save the day for Amy, when something goes wrong. For example, when Amy’s dog goes missing, and she is sick with worry, it is Doug, who through, supposedly, countless hours of searching, finds the dog, and returns the canine to a very grateful Amy.
What lengths will Doug go to in order to ensure that Amy winds up with him? Will Doug and the unsuspecting Amy become a couple? Does Amy wise up and realize, before it is too late, that Doug is not what he seems? All of those questions and more will be revealed by the conclusion of the film, which has a runtime of 78 minutes.
The disturbing, albeit interesting, “Alone with Her” premiered on April 28, 2006 at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film was written and directed by Eric Nicholas (River Rats), who took a topic that had been done many times before, but he attempted to showcase it, in a more creative way. There is nothing outright scary about the film. There are no jump scares, supernatural creatures, or monsters lurking in the dark ready to kill without conscience. I can’t even imagine the timid of heart covering their eyes while watching the movie. The aspect of “Alone with Her” that does make it, in essence, terrifying, especially with today’s technology having advanced ten-fold since 2006, is that Doug’s behavior, if someone were to become enamored to the sick degree that he did with Amy, can be replicated in real life. The film, while it certainly held my interest, also, in my opinion, can serve as a cautionary tale; something that has been imparted before, in various mediums, but is worth repeating – if something, or someone, is too perfect, the opposite is most likely true.