Friday, September 9, 2022

The Alternate (2022)

Movie Name/Year: The Alternate (2022)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Length: 1h 27min
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Bursell Productions, Uncork’d Entertainment
Director: Alrik Bursell
Writer: Alrik Bursell
Actors: Ed Gonzalez Moreno, Natalia Dominguez
Blurb from IMDb: Upon unlocking a portal to an alternate dimension where all his dreams have come true, struggling filmmaker Jake is forced to confront his idealized self.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’ve heard some buzz about The Alternate, not a lot, but the quality of every word was sky-high. The people who have been talking, have been saying that it was a damn good film. When I realized it was a screener I had access to, I jumped on the chance to see what the fuss was all about.
Upon doing a bit of research, I found that there was a crowdfunding element to it. There’s a profile for The Alternate on Seed & Spark and it raised just over $20,000 in a month.
I think investors should be proud.
The Alternate is worth more than the buzz it’s already getting.
This project is a good example of why it’s worth supporting new voices. Writer/director Alrik Bursell (Brother, The Rage, High Stakes) has a few shorts under his belt, but this is his full-length feature film debut. Using The Alternate as an introduction to him, I think we can expect some good thing.
He does characters right. Although the main character is a bit on the obnoxious side, his frustration at having to ‘sell out’ is relatable. Anyone who chooses a creative career know the depth of crushing self-doubt that’s portrayed. Because he has this very human aspect to him, it makes it easier to take the strange ride alongside Jake as he spirals.
It would have been very easy for Bursell to fall into a hole with Jake as a main character. If a character is too obnoxious, with nothing to tie viewers to them, that’s pretty much the end of the film. People stop caring almost instantly.

The concept of The Alternate is not a new one. I’m reminded of VHS: Viral (2014), specifically the segment: “Parallel Monsters.” The base idea of finding a different version of oneself in a portal is typical, that’s just the latest flick that comes to mind. I could point out any number of early 2000s TV shows that use the idea for an episode or two, as well. I don’t think it’s an idea that would land on an ‘overused’ list, but it’s common.
What then elevated The Alternate?
If you read my 2017 review of VHS: Viral then you know I hated it. With one of the segments sharing a concept with The Alternate why wouldn’t that have brought up my score for Viral?
I’d say the acting is comparable, the setting is, as well.
The difference is in seeming small things. It’s the accurate reaction Jake initially had to finding the portal. It’s how the character of the wife is so different between dimensions that it’s almost hard to see her as the same actor. It’s the bold, and suddenly horrific, ending. It’s Bursell’s voice in the script.
The way the film is shot, and the feel of the dialogue, takes The Alternate from being a basic recipe to rising above.
I am not familiar with the rest of Alrik Bursell’s work, but I’m thinking I should be.
The Alternate will be available on DVD and Digital September 13.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 8.3/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
P.S. Some short scenes during the credits.
Movie Trailer:

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