What makes a horror movie scary? Is it the jumps, the dread, or the impending doom around every corner? After watching You Won’t Be Alone, the new horror/drama release by Focus Features, I got into a debate on just what horror is, and what it could mean to different viewers. To me, You Won’t Be Alone isn’t really horror, but more a redemption story with a bit of gore.
The premise of the movie intrigued me initially, a young witch trying out to be a human. But it doesn’t cover it all – the girl is promised to the witch as an infant, but only after she’s 16. And while the old witch, who presents in a hag form wants her to follow her example, the young girl breaks free and tries to live the life she was denied.
From the moment the girl is promised to the witch, her mother hides her away in a cave where she will be safe, she’s not allowed to live a normal life. This unending want for connection, love, and even community is what leads her on a rebellious path and into the human world. But with little help from the witch or her real mother, she has to cobble together some semblance of what she feels is real, and ultimately experience human life in several ways. She claims the lives of several people and takes over their forms in order to do that, and eventually is able to find a life she can live – but experiences heartbreak and more through these experiences. Even revealing her true self to the man she falls in love with, only to have a tragedy happen right after – even with his acceptance.
So is this film a horror film? A Drama? A thriller? I’m not fully sure – to me, it was more of a film about the human condition and experience. But there was a constant dread that pulled you back in. The concept is interesting for sure, but I’m not completely sure it would still be considered a horror film to me.
You Won’t Be Alone is in theaters on April 1st. But keep in mind this film is completely in Macedonian and will require your full attention as you watch it. Grab a snack that will be easy to grab as you read the sub-titles and watch this intriguing film.
About You Won’t Be Alone
Set in an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, YOU WON’T BE ALONE follows a young girl who is kidnapped and then transformed into a witch by an ancient spirit. Curious about life as a human, the young witch accidentally kills a peasant in the nearby village and then takes her victim’s shape to live life in her skin. Her curiosity ignited, she continues to wield this horrific power in order to understand what it means to be human.