I'll try and cover all the bases as best as I can. It's due for a re-watch, but of course, because it was a decade great for me it is memorable on many counts.
Alienated is a film that well surpassed all expectations and even gives quite a few surprises as it is marketed more as a sci-fi film. The use of the meaning of the title also gives us this idea while instead we are being brought into one of the greatest examples of human relationships I have ever seen on screen.
To cover the basics, everything is solid to brilliant on a minimalist production stand point. The husband sees something that supposedly has changed his life and we are left in a suspension of disbelief because we never see it. The director, Brian Ackley, gives us the options to figure out where we as viewers want to make our relationship with the husband and wife (who do we side with or who do we believe?). It is a brilliant script with brilliant acting.
The movie takes us into the minor bickering of this couple, as we see right away the husband does not confide in his wife about what he saw. I personally have never seen such an obvious contrast in film before. The comparison being that when our personal relationships begin to crumble the outside world truly matters less whether it means war, an actual alien invasion, or some sort of meteor crashing into earth or nuclear bombardment. And we see this contrast grow completely by the last 15 min of the film. Alienated covers topics many filmmakers I think have tried to cover (from what I've seen) but Ackley and co successfully do it here, and I'll admit, totally unexpectedly.
The ending is brave. We could have gotten something more bombastic like one of the two leads murdering each other out of frustration or something "magnificently" revealed to us like what the husband actually saw, but it never goes there even though we see and feel the full spectrum of agitation from both lead players. Instead we are left to contemplate and struggle through the marriage and relationship of this couple, and really, so are they. I also think Taylor Negron does so much with so little here as the couple's neighbor, proposing some advice to the husband.
Ultimately, by the end, because it feels as if their world has crumbled from the roller coaster of their arguments, I get the sense their world could end tomorrow despite the phenomenon occurring outside. In an odd way I received vibes of Waiting For Godot in the sense that these characters, in the very least, have each other and that is what it comes down to in the grander scheme of things. It's a beautiful statement really and one I never see very often in film. I think Alienated is worth seeing for everyone because it absolutely nails the bickering, ups & downs of marriage to a tee and gives us plenty to think about with so little. Also poetic in many scenes, feeling what this couple feels and watching them grow a little during the captivating 81 min run time.
It's one of the best scripts of the decade with great execution on a lightly covered topic that really hit home with me.
Review by Ziglet_mir from the Internet Movie Database.