When tragedy strikes, the way we deal with that loss and grief is unique to the kind of person we are. Some people simply can’t go on with their normal routine and retreat into an almost catatonic state. Others try and ignore it completely and carry on with their lives as if nothing has happened, struggling to keep the trauma bottled up inside. In John Hyams’ new film, Alone, his protagonist takes another approach, with deadly consequences.

After the sudden death of her husband, Jessica (Jules Willcox) packs up her life in the city and heads out on a long drive back to her hometown, to start afresh in the Pacific Northwest. Struggling at times to hold it together, her trip is punctuated by coincidental encounters with another traveller. A man (Marc Menchaca) who seems harmless enough at first but it soon becomes apparent that these are no chance encounters.

There are several factors which make Alone so successful. Firstly, there’s Willcox, whose impressive performance brings Jessica’s grief and determination to life. Then, there’s Federico Verardi’s beautiful cinematography which places nature front and centre. However, what makes Alone such an immersive and exciting film is Hyams’ willingness to pit his cat and mouse chase in a number of different locations.

Alone screened at Grimmfest.