Call me a traditionalist, but I think when you make a film you should just make one, not three different ones of completely different tone, all pretending to be a single movie. Alyce starts off as an indie drama, turns into a trippy psychological thriller before becoming almost absurdist horror by the end.
Alyce and her best friend Carroll are out for a night of fun, where they drink, take drugs and flirt outrageously. However, it all goes wrong when Alyce accidentally knocks her friend off the roof of her apartment building. If that weren’t enough, she then lies to the police, saying it had nothing to do with her. The fib get more complicated when it turns out Carroll isn’t dead and will be able to say what really happened when she recovers enough.
Alyce was always slightly kooky, and now her guilt slowly makes her snap. She decides she needs to kill Carroll before moving on to murder various other people around her, in increasingly gory fashion.
It’s clear everyone involved in the film is doing their best and that writer/director Jay Lee had some sort of vision for what he was trying to achieve with Alyce, but I’ll be buggered if I know what that vision was. It’s a strange movie that veers between the eerie and stupid, the interesting and awful. As mentioned, it almost feels like three distinct film, but even within each section it never finds a sustained tone, and it’s often too dumb for words, both in the characters’ actions and the way it’s presented. Everything about Alyce’s interaction with a drug dealer, for example, seems nonsensical, to the point it’s almost like an after-school special made by someone who has no clue what drug dealers are like.
As the violence increases the film almost turns into farce and by that point I felt as if the film had thrown me from pillar to post so much that I’d pretty much disconnected from it and really didn’t care what happened at the end. It’s actually quite an achievement that by the point James Duval was trying to pick his intestines off the floor, my only reaction was boredom.
Overall Verdict: While the early stages are good, its ever changing tone and descent towards gore-filled farce quickly make Alyce a tedious experience.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac