Alyce DVD Review
Written by Sharon Davies
DVD released by Lionsgate UK
Written and Directed by Jay Lee
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 90 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 30th April 2012
Jade Durnfeld as Alyce
Tamara Feldman as Carroll
James Duval as Vince
Eddie Rouse as Rex
“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I ever the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is “Who in the world am I?” Ah, that’s the great puzzle”. - Alice in Wonderland
Interesting words from the famous girl, and in this tale of madness and downward spiral the titular Alyce also ponders a similar question.
Alyce finds herself lost: lost in a dead end job, lost wondering about her feelings for her best friend and leading herself down a dark path to meet even odder characters.
The story begins with Alyce and her best friend Carroll (a nod to Lewis Carroll methinks) going out for a night on the town. After Carroll’s discovery that she is being cheated on, the duo decides the best course of action is to get high, both on drugs and on a rooftop. Alyce’s feelings for her friend are unclear and somewhat obsessive, but one thing is for sure, messing around near roof edges is pretty stupid. The chaos begins as Alyce manages to accidently push Carroll off the roof; from here she herself falls down the rabbit hole of guilt into a spiral of drugs, prostitution and murder. In her own Wonderland we meet our Mad Hatter in the form of swollen-handed drug dealer Rex, who pushes Alyce into further psychosis from both what he supplies to her and what she is pushed to give in return for the drugs that ease her mind.
Jay Lee’s piece (previously responsible for 2008’s Zombie Strippers) creates an open book for the main character and, as she continues to feel more guilty about her actions, her madness intensifies, especially when she realises that Carroll isn’t dead and she could be found out any day. What is the solution? You’ll soon see.
The most amusing scenes, and I’m sure any gore fans, is Alyce’s interesting disposal of... let's say her problems, and the special effects department certainly does a fantastic job in the later scenes.
The Alice in Wonderland references pop up here and there with instances like a bar tender’s cry of “Drink Me” and even Alyce crying “Off with your head”, but this film is in no way anything other than a nod to Alice in Wonderland gone really wrong, If you’re not familiar the classic tale then you wont notice these at all.
To be honest this film makes me think about what one would class as a horror film? Is it the stark horror of a dark situation or is it the more obvious gore fest? I personally found the first half of the film more horrible than horror but this all changes in the later scenes.
In summary this is an interesting film and kept me wondering where the white rabbit would lead the character throughout, but in the main it left me feeling more uncomfortable than scared - although isn’t that the point of this film?
Video and Audio:
The crisp video married with sharp close ups and intense red and green colours throw the attention to our main characters and the state of their minds. With the gritty and dark storyline this also lays down similar gritty and dark shots that add to the overall feel of the movie. The hand held camera scenes are a little shaky but again add to you feeling right there in the room.
No real added background noises or music other than moody undertones of what is to come which again adds the overall realism of Alyce’s world.
No special features to speak of, however the disc begins with trailers for Cabin in the Woods (woohoo!) and The Hunters.