The best thriller you never watched just crashed the Netflix top 10 — and it’s 91% on Rotten Tomatoes

Jules Willcox as Jessica in "Alone" now streaming on Netflix
(Image credit: TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo / Magnet Releasing)

One of the best things about Netflix is that it can give a movie that got overlooked upon release a second wind, and that’s certainly the case with “Alone."

This 2020 psychological thriller didn’t generate huge buzz when it debuted four years ago, but its recent arrival on Netflix has allowed the movie to find a well-deserved larger audience. 

“Alone” is currently tearing up the Netflix most-watched list, currently ranked as the No. 2 most popular movie on the streaming service. It’s placed behind Millie Bobby Brown’s new fantasy flick “Damsel” but it’s ahead of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and 90s thriller “Fear” which stars Reese Witherspoon and Mark Wahlberg. 

If you’ve never watched “Alone,/" and you want to know a little more about it before adding it to your watchlist, then you’ve come to the right place, I’m here to give you all the details you need about this adrenaline-pumping thriller. 

What is ‘Alone’ about?  

“Alone” centers on a nightmare experience as a woman is relentlessly pursued by an obsessive stalker. 

Jules Willcox plays Jessica, a recent widow who’s packed up all her possessions in a U-Haul trailer and hits the open road to escape her traumatic past. However, things get spooky when she spots a man (Marc Menchaca) who appears to be following her.

After the man’s reckless driving almost causes Jessica to crash, she thinks that her unnerving experience is over, but at a rest stop a little ways down the road, the man reappears and attempts to engage Jessica in conversation. Sensing danger Jessica tries to drive away as quickly as possible, but this is only the start of her ordeal.

The man’s truck is blocking the exit, and when he asks for a ride, alarm bells start ringing in Jessica’s head. She declines and quickly drives off, but this shadowy figure isn’t so easy to shake, and soon Jessica encounters him yet again.

From there, the situation spirals even further out of control as the man’s true nature is revealed and Jessica finds herself trapped in a cat-and-mouse game with life-or-death stakes. 

‘Alone’ reviews — here’s what the critics say 

“Alone” was warmly received by critics back in 2020, and it currently holds an impressive 91% score on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. However, it appears that viewers aren’t quite as positive, its audience score stands at just 54%. 

Kevin Crusted of the Los Angeles Times declared that “top-tier performances from Jules Willcox and Marc Menchaca provide 98 minutes of heart-pounding diversion.” While Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter felt the movie was “familiar-feeling but harrowing.” 

Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times was similarly impressed with “Alone." They said, “This minimalist survival thriller unfolds with such elegant simplicity and single-minded momentum that its irritations are easily excused.” Another positive write-up came from Variety’s Dennis Harvey who called it “a tense, muscular suspense exercise.”

However, not every critic was a fan. Odie Henderson of argued that “‘Alone’ gives us little reason to care if our hero makes it out alive.” And some critics noted that the movie’s minimalist style, and initial slow pacing, could be off-putting to some viewers.   

Should you stream ‘Alone’ on Netflix 

If you’re looking for a mile-a-minute thriller with endless twists and turns, then you might find “Alone” a little lacking. However, if you can appreciate a carefully considered movie that takes its time building a seriously unnerving atmosphere, and one that puts its lead character in some very distressing situations, then you need to give this dramatic thriller a watch.

Critics particularly praised the performance of Willcox and Menchaca and it’s not hard to see why. “Alone” rests almost entirely on their shoulders as the cast list is extremely small, and both do a phenomenal job. Plus, director John Hyams keeps the suspense at a pleasingly high level once things kick into gear. 

“Alone” also concludes within a fairly breezy 98 minutes, making it a great pick if you want a movie that won’t take an entire evening to finish. There’s a whole lot to like about this taut thriller, and its arrival on Netflix makes now the perfect time to give it a watch. 

If you need even more viewing recommendations check out our roundup of the best new movies to stream this week, as well as our guide to Netflix’s new fantasy blockbuster, “Damsel”.  

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.