A young student named Alice inherits psychic abilities after falling from the balcony of her school. With her new powers, Alice begins to experiment only to find it takes a heavy toll on her body and possibly mental state.
Alice exists as an experimentation in various visual styles, often as an homage to other horror productions. This experimentation provides both the highlights and shortcoming of the production. A lot of the shots are utilized to draw you into a rather chaotic world, and add an exclamation point to the protagonist’s new found abilities. The production utilizes various camera techniques, slow motion, sped up motion and some POV. These elements work well individually, but together become kind of busy in a way that deters from the overall appeal. There is also one moment that kind of showed the seams of the visual tricks, where several chairs are moved, with strings becoming apparent because of the choice to keep using slow motion. The production feels like it could have benefited from drawing back from the constant tricks to help highlight the most noteworthy moments(of which there are plenty).
The music score really shines here, and I find, as a fan of industrial and noise music, that the composition really embraces those genres in a few moments that help add to the chaos. It is also scored by some more melodic moments. Although the music does lack some complexity, given the format it was created on, it still stands as a strong note within the production, and possibly my favorite aspect in defining its style.
The performances, given it was working with a young cast, becomes difficult to scrutinize. With the project being completed by a teacher and his students, it certainly shows within the quality of performance. The young cast does still do an admirable job. The greatest joy comes from being able to see the students enjoy the creative process. One highlight scene shows a young girl contorting her face to reflect being attacked by psychokinesis. This scene acts as a great comedic moment and showcases the dedication and enjoyment the students got working on the project.
Ultimately, “Alice” does seem like an attempt to work in as many camera techniques as possible, and the rest of the production seems to be a bit more of an afterthought. However, the short moments that do show a keen eye for creating unique visuals, complimented by a strong score, act to further showcase the talents of Director Wan Dinnie.