Producers: Gay Iorio, Tony Delgadillo, Charles Ehrlinger, Eliza Ehrlinger, Tina Carlone and Sheila Vossgough Director: Charles Ehrlinger Screenplay: Charles Ehrlinger Cast: Richard de Klerk, Cara Gee, Paul Schackman, James Aaron Oliver, Steve Lewis, Emily Muggleton, Chase Yi. Mason Hafa and Angie Gregory Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
A potentially interesting idea is squandered in Charles Ehrlinger’s would-be thriller “Alone Wolf,” whose potentially intriguing premise is botched by pretensions to depth and inept execution.
Richard de Klerk is Jonathan, who, though not technically agoraphobic, is so convinced that the outside world is a dangerous cesspool of germs and similar threats that he’s kept to his house for years, recommending the same strategy to others. (The picture’s original title was “Lone Wolf Survival Kit.”) His only contact with the world is via a monitor through which a deliveryman (Chase Yi) communicates with him as he drops off and takes away boxes at the front door.
Jonathan’s solitude is shattered when a thief named Benny (James Aaron Oliver) shows up to steal the boxes from his stoop, accompanied by his girlfriend Town (Cara Gee). The deliveryman tries to intervene, only to be pushed aside by Benny; the guy falls to the pavement, hits his head and dies. Town fights with Benny and begs Jonathan, who’s seen everything, to let her in, and despite his hesitation, he does.
That’s the beginning of a relationship that changes Jonathan’s life. He’ll be dragged out of the house by the police for questioning, and though his lawyer (Paul Schackman) advises him not to put them off, he claims to know nothing in order to protect Town. Remembering his own troubled childhood, he’ll also get involved in trying to reconnect her with her daughter Sarah (Emily Muggleton). But of course Billy is lurking in the background, ready to strike, and in the end his does in an unpleasantly violent climax that tests the bond Jonathan and Town have formed along the way.
None of this carries much emotional weight, largely because Ehrlinger’s screenplay is clumsily constructed, his direction flaccid, and the acting either somnolent (de Klerk) or overwrought (Gee, Oliver, and Steve Lewis as a detective). The technical side of things—Marie Jach’s production design, Barry Idoine’s cinematography, James Griffiths’ score—is indifferent at best, and the editing by Ehrlinger and Mark Myers seems aimless.
The result is a purported thriller that generates little tension or suspense. Leave this toothless “Wolf” to its solitude.