We Die Alone
by Hope Madden
We Die Alone—writer/director Marc Cartwight’s award-winning short horror/thriller—prizes both character and story. It benefits from committed performances that develop textured characters you feel for.
Baker Chase Powell is effective as Aidan. Cripplingly anxious about women, Aidan is also far too handsome to believe his issues are insurmountable. Surely someone will fall for this dangerously isolated young man if given the chance, right?
Likewise, the tenderness and insecurity shining from Ashley Jones’s performance—along with just a handful of ostensibly throwaway lines from her co-stars—cement her as a believable lonely heart you hope can turn things around.
And of course, there is the catalyst for their developing storyline, Chelsea (a perfectly cynical Samantha Boscarino). The filmmaker brings together characters, makes you root for them, makes you anxious for their emotional wellbeing, and then delivers on a promise you didn’t realize he made.
Cartwright understands how story develops and uses this expertise to subvert expectations. His film plays with your preconceptions but never substitutes clever gimmick for story. The result is a sly, entirely satisfying journey into love, loneliness and how little we understand each other.