ALENA (2005)

alena-jpg

 

Directed By: Daniel Di Grado
Written By: Daniel Di Grado, Kerstin Gezelius & Alexander Onofri
Based on the Graphic Novel By: Kim W. Andersson
Cinematography By: Simon Olsson
Editor: Linda Jildmalm 


Cast: Amalia Holm, Molly Nutley, Felice Jankell, Rebecka Nyman, Fanny Klefelt 


When Alena arrives at her new elite boarding school, Filippa and the other girls start to harass her. But Alena’s best friend Josefin won’t let her take anymore beating. If she won’t strike back, Josefin will do it for her. Hard.

Whoever described this movie as a mixture of CARRIE and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was pretty spot on.

What keeps you intrigued as an audience member is that while it gets violent at times the way the movie is handled with so much sensitivity.

The film has crisp direction. That makes use of it’s cold surroundings to the fullest. That while the audience might want to identify the mood rarely defies these surroundings. So that while a bunch of stuff happens to keep interests it never quite becomes engaging fully. There are moments that then seem to slip away,

The film has mostly a female cast with only one male supporting role. Which might be why feels like it has an innocence to a degree and the fact that same sex attractions and relationships are handled not only with care but not sensationally nor out of the ordinary which is refreshing.

The films major weakness is it’s predictability. Even though in it’s build up it feels like it is going to be something different.

The bully seems random at times though you can see why she keeps seeming to get obsessed and why after a while even her minions are kind of over it. But just as her anger builds so does the movie. As at first the films seems like a simple coming. Of age new girl at a new school type. Then slowly it becomes a thriller and seems to go into the psychological and supernatural.

The film ends up being a revenge movie as a result of bullying with a somewhat simple twist. That at first is confusing then by the End is spelled all out.

The film is relatively short. So that it never comes close to wearing out it’s welcome.

Just like the films it’s compared to, you also feel a protectiveness for the main characters and once the film ends you find yourself missing them or at least there was more to it. So that you never really have to leave or worry about the characters once the film is over.

I guess you could call the film a horror but it doesn’t feel entirely like one. It’s more a drama with thriller elements more than anything.

Grade: C+

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