Alice Darling

Lionsgate’s ‘ALICE, DARLING’ (2023) – Movie Review

Sometimes the pieces of art that hit us the hardest are the ones that we can most relate to in our own personal experiences. Above all else, that’s the mark that Alice, Darling strives to reach. Movies in the horror and thriller genres that premiere early in the year often hold the stigma of being too forgettable or cookie-cutter. Alice, Darling touches on themes and situations that reach far beyond the norm.

Let’s examine where this movie goes, and how we get there.

Alice, Darling is written by Alanna Francis (The Rest Of Us 2019) and Mark Van de Ven (Carnival of Resistance 2004) and directed by Mary Nighy (Marie Antoinette 2006). It stars Anna Kendrick (A Simple Favor 2018) and Kaniehtiio Horn (Possessor 2020, read our Blu-Ray review here). Kendrick shines as the titular Alice, a woman who goes on a week-long trip with her friends in the hopes of reconnecting with them and separating from her abusive boyfriend.

As the week wears on, we see the mental push and pull of the effect that her partner has had on her, as well as the toll it’s taken in other areas of her life. Those moments bring about the strongest parts of the film, as the viewers are left with long moments of tension and uncomfortable silences to fill their own connective pain inside the gaps. It was clear that the writers related strongly to the material on screen, which will help the audience to do the same. The acting was solid throughout, and Kendrick was superb in her unrest.


Certain technical aspects of Alice, Darling took a chance to really shine here. The secluded location added a lot, not just to the insert shots, but to the feeling of personal isolation that we’re supposed to empathize with in Alice herself. The sound design also enhanced different emotions throughout the film. The score bounced from upbeat ’90s to underlying dread, to hopeful, and every transition felt warranted.

This movie’s flaws come mainly in its pacing and character beats. While the story is backloaded and hopeful, it takes a while to get rolling. In the first half of the film, it feels a bit hard to cheer for anyone, as deception abounds, and everyone comes off with a twinge of malicious intent. The powerful bond of friendship between the ladies that we’re intended to rally around feels very undefined and disjointed at first. Even when the characters do begin to form great dialogue and chemistry in the second half, it doesn’t seem like Alice, Darling goes all the way. It shares some realistic and powerful themes to be certain, but it doesn’t really pack the full amount of flavor that the premise allows.


Final Thoughts

Alice, Darling is an incredibly important and resonant film in 2023. Everyone in the audience, whether personally or through a friend, will be able to understand and submerge themselves in Alice’s shoes. The message in this movie is one that many people will be able to learn something from. That in itself is the power of cinema. Whether or not Alice, Darling remains on the tongues of people at the end of the year, the creators made something beyond another simple thriller.

This movie is now available for purchase on VOD.

About Jason Burke

Hey there, I'm Jason. I'm a lifelong writer and lover of all things that go bump in the night. Under my production company name, Nostalgic Nightmare Productions, I write and produce films, novels, and photoshoots. I'm also an actor, activist, poet, and stand-up comic. I believe in deep, character-driven stories that engage the audience.

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