Mom I Am Alone
Jun 21, 2022
Erin Dickson, Morgan Black
I wish there was a little more to say about Mom I Am Alone. A minimalist short focusing on loss, an overall lack of anything original or substantive undermines stronger performances and scene construction.
The evening before an important presentation, a woman (Erin Dickson) is disturbed by the presence of a visitor at her window (Morgan Black). The young girl pleads with the woman, her mother, to let her into the house. But knowing this is impossible, the woman can only draw the curtains – as the truth of their relationship is revealed.
Mom I Am Alone is a short conceptual film about loss, and how those we lose stay with us. But its overall message is confusing and lacking in both originality and gravity. The film carries many traits of a horror – with an eery and discomforting visitor in the night haunting the protagonist, resurrecting her feelings of grief. Yet the film builds to a much more positive message that acceptance of grief and loss is a part of life – and how those we lose stay with us as we move forward. The problem with this is that the main character is not shown receiving this message herself by the film’s story. Her journey from shutting out the visitor, to making her own visit to a resting place, involves too few story beats to drive home the film’s theme or demonstrate any kind of reasoning behind her character development. It feels like an entire middle section is missing from the film – which would have included critical elements of the story.
Little else is raised by the plot for viewers to really relate to. There are hints that the mother may be behind the reason why she cannot allow her daughter into the house, but this is not developed or woven into the story beyond a single line of dialogue. Her lack of surprise at the visitor’s appearance conversely is a good example of storytelling – hinting towards this being a regular occurrence that she has yet to learn how to deal with.
Erin Dickson gives a strong performance as the mother, torn between embracing the visitor and allowing her into the home, but grounded by the cruel reality she knows she must learn to accept. Morgan Black’s ambiguous and fractured visitor carries an ethereal air – hints to her true nature of being formed of memory and pain. Both performers are well-cast and play their roles well – it’s a shame the story does not give either a little more to portray.
So where short films do have to omit depth and lengthy plots, Mom I Am Alone brings too little to the table when exploring its themes. What is left is a concept that allows for some good performances, but not a whole lot else that has not been accomplished better elsewhere.