Sunday night movies, keeping in line with my plan for nothing but horror films between now and Halloween, was the Swedish ghost story Alena.
I was fortunate enough to see this movie at 2016’s Horrible Imaginings Film Festival where it struck me as one of the best movies in a festival filled with fantastic films. It was also at the Festival where I learned about the streaming service Shudder, which is dedicated to Horror cinema and has a better selection for that genre than any other streaming site. I had not seen Alena in the time between last year’s festival and this weekend and I had a few concerns that perhaps it was not as well made as my memory insisted.
Those concerns were misplaced.
Alena is the story of a low-class girl, Alena, who following a personal tragedy transfers to an all-girl upper-class private school. Poor and a new comer Alena is quickly targeted for bullying by leader of the in clique, Fillipa, while also picking a new friend and potential romantic entanglement with Fabienne. Complicating matters is a friend from the wrong side of the tracks, Josefin who acts as Alena’s personal protector and confidant. Things get out of hand and soon girls are being attacked and terrible tragic secrets surface.
Alena is based on a graphic move but I have not read the source material so I cannot speak to the quality as far as adaptation goes but this film is stylish and well crafted. You would do far worse for seasonal viewing. The most serious flaw in the films productions deals entirely with the foreign edition. As I mentioned the movie is from Sweden and it is presented in Swedish with English subtitles. However, whoever performed the subtitling was not fully fluent in English. There are word choices and grammar constructions what come of at the very least as clunky and in some cases are simply wrong. Do not let the occasional translator failing distract you from this terrific movie.