When a distrusting woman wants to test her boyfriend to see if he will cheat, she asks a soft-spoken woman to be the bait. Soon after, the boyfriend disappears after going home with the secretive woman who is longing for a love of her own (in a psychotic way). Will anybody just love Alice and get it over with?
Nobody Loves Alice
? Well, that’s not entirely true. While I didn’t love Alice, I certainly liked her. Alice, played by Nitzan Mager
, is a shy loner who works in an office with what seems like only two other people. Those two people are Abigail (Amanda Taylor
) and Megan (Elyse Rodriguez
). Truthfully, this has to be the smallest group of employees ever, but I’m sure there were partial budget reasons for being so understaffed. As it turns out, Abigail is madly in love with Alex (Phillip Ward
), who is a manager at a local restaurant. But with Megan blabbing about men always cheating, Abby begins to have a few doubts. Enter Alice, the mousy young woman who works in this uninhabited office. The two ladies decide to set up Alex and send Alice to try and seduce him (well, maybe seduce is a strong word). But the boyfriend isn’t as dumb as the fiancé in waiting thinks. He reveals that he knows the game to sweet Alice and offers to take her home to play a trick on his other half. He soon disappears, leaving the girlfriend frustrated and scared. And yes, she has something to be scared of. The mousy and shy girl is not as harmless as you would think. She has taken to Alex and keeps him tied up in her bedroom while she plans their life together.
For much of this movie, I felt there was something really special beneath it’s exterior. It is an ultra-low budget from its set design to the slightly amateurish nature of some of the performances, but beneath all of it was an interesting character in Alice. Nitzan Mager is a find as the troubled, yet psychotic woman. She is extremely vulnerable, even when she is about to do some damage with a hacksaw. Luckily for the film, she really is able to give a solid performance. And I mentioned the hacksaw. Yes, there are a few severed body parts going on near the end of the film and the gore is surprisingly good although it is sparingly used. This is not necessarily a horror film, more of a really dark drama with genre elements. But it was enough to make the final fifteen minutes or so keep me involved to see what happens to the “heroes”.
It is nice to see a director using what he can to try and make an entertaining genre flick. But a big problem with Alice is the script and the dialogue. It all seems stilted and not very true to life. When Abby and Megan chat about relationships, I didn’t really get the believability vibe from what they were saying. And it didn’t help that both actresses were mostly adequate, but ultimately unbelievable. And as for Alex (Phillip Ward
), I thought he fared a little better. Okay, he didn’t have too much dialogue, especially since much of the film he is tied up to a bed with tape over his mouth. He seemed to give a better performance than the ladies, aside of course Mager. And yes, it is Mager and a exciting last act that made me like Alice better than I expected. While the very inexpensive nature of the film may turn some off, it is worth a look if only to see an interesting way to make a film with little money.
The Special Features are pretty slim for Alice. The first is called a “featurette” but is really a short trailer more than anything. It is called Nobody Loves Alice Featurette (1:14). Like I said, this is a trailer, nothing more.
Next up is Somebody Loves Alice (12:37) explains what went into the making of the film. One thing that always bothers me in regards to many young horror filmmakers is there reason to make a horror film is that it sells, and that is one of the things that writer/director Roger A. Scheck’s mentions in the first couple of minutes in this feature. But luckily, since the film is much better than it could have been, I didn’t mind it so much this time around. And as for Nitzan Mager, who is interviewed here (along with other cast and crew), she is really a charming woman, I hope that this role gets somebody’s attention in Hollywood. She is incredibly likable and she really makes the film stronger with her performance.
And a few Trailers to finish it off, including “The Audience Strikes Back” (I gotta see this documentary), “The Passion of the Mao” and “99.”
This tale of a lonely, insecure loony bird feels more like a dark drama as opposed to a horror film. It is cheap and looks and feels like it, but it also sports a terrific lead with Nitzan Mager. She is appropriately vulnerable and then moments later, a little bit twisted. When the final act hits, she gets to have fun and helps make those last few moments an exciting piece of horror, with light gore thrown in for good measure. Sadly, although writer/director Roger A. Scheck seems to be able to pace this baby in a interesting enough way, the dialogue is way off. Most of the characters are more like a walking, talking cliché. But still, with a strong lead, and some clever pacing toward the climax, I recommend Nobody Loves Alice for lovers of this type of independent drama.