Goran Stolevski’s “You Won’t Be Alone” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival yesterday. Most of the well-known outlets have published their reviews, which are very positive, including a 5-star-review from The Guardian and being called “Among the Best Horror Debuts in Years” by IndieWire. Throughoutthose reviews, we learn more about the film’s story beyond the synopsis and about Noomi’s role,which is part of an ensemble and not the focal point, despite her being prominently featured in the advertisments. Here’s a collection of excerpts with links to the full reviews.
The Hollywood Reporter, John Defore (January 22, 2022)
Noomi Rapace is listed first in fest catalog credits and featured prominently in key art, but she’s just one of a few actors playing the role, and gets far from the most screen time. We meet the witch as an ordinary human infant, recently born to an angry woman in a 19th-century Macedonian village. The mother is visited by a frightening figure whose body is covered in scars — sometimes called a “wolf-eateress,” she is known in local lore as Old Maid Maria. She wants to take the baby.
Variety, Peter Debruge (January 22, 2022)
A veteran shorts director who brings years of experimentation and experience to his boldly unconventional feature debut, Stolevski has crafted a lyrical cinematic folktale. The language and setting are unfamiliar – a 19th-century Balkan village, where people speak in a half-forgotten local dialect – but there’s a clear narrative logic to it all, even if the first time through, audiences may as well accept they won’t get everything about the plot. For those who don’t mind a bit of a challenge, “You Won’t Be Alone” feels like what we might get if A24 commissioned an art-house horror movie from “The Tree of Life” director Terrence Malick. The film’s last act brings everything full circle in a way that should satisfy both horror and art-house audiences, but then the movie, like its protagonist, is never content to be just one thing.
There’s good news and bad news with today’s trailer premiere for Goran Stolevski’s upcoming “You Won’t Be Alone”. On the good side: The trailer is very interesting and yet ambigious about Noomi’s appearance – is it a leading role or rather a guest spot? (the poster lists her name last) The makeup of the witch gives no indication on this. Nevertheless, the trailer does its job in raising our interest to find out more. However, the bad news: Its previously announced release date on January 28, 2022 was pushed back a good three months to April 1. So we will need to wait a little bit longer to see it. The trailer has been added to the video archive while screencaptures and the poster can be found in the photo gallery.
Noomi’s upcoming film “You Won’t Be Alone” will celebrate its world-premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2022, before its theatrical release on January 28, 2022 in the United States.
In an isolated mountain village in 19th-century Macedonia, a young girl is taken from her mother and transformed into a witch by an ancient, shape-shifting spirit. Left to wander feral, the young witch beholds the natural world with curiosity and wonder. After inadvertently killing a villager and assuming her body, she continues to inhabit different people, living among the villagers for years, observing and mimicking their behavior until the ancient spirit returns, bringing them full circle.
The debut feature of Australian-Macedonian writer-director Goran Stolevski, You Won’t Be Alone is wonderfully unlike any witch film you’ve seen. Its striking artistry and aestheticism blends supernatural horror (there’s no shortage of blood and entrails) with poetic fable, yielding a sensory meditation on life that is unexpectedly emotional and profoundly humanistic. Even the malevolent ancient spirit, born of suffering and loneliness, is a contoured character. And the young witch (played by multiple actors, including Noomi Rapace, Alice Englert, Carloto Cotta, and Sara Klimoska) suggests a transcendent spirit who, across successive lives – woman, man, mother, child – experiences what it means to be human.
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – You Won’t Be Alone – Production Stills
According to Deadline, Focus Features is planning a moderate release of You Won’t Be Alone on Friday, January 28, 2022 domestically in theaters. Set in an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, the film follows a young girl who is kidnapped and then transformed into a witch by an ancient spirit. Curious about life as a human, the young witch accidentally kills a peasant in the nearby village and then takes her victim’s shape to live life in her skin. Her curiosity ignited, she continues to wield this horrific power in order to understand what it means to be human. The witch will be played by different actors and the film will include an old Macedonian dialect. The film is directed and written by Goran Stolevski. It stars Noomi Rapace, BAFTA-winner Anamaria Marinca (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days), Alice Englert (Ratched), Carloto Cotta (Tabu), Félix Maritaud (Sauvage) and Sara Klimoska (Milcho Manchevski’s Willow). Producers are Kristina Ceyton (The Babadook and The Nightingale) and Sam Jennings (Cargo). Focus pre-bought world rights to the under-the-radar supernatural-horror early last year just after it had wrapped filming in Serbia. Focus will handle domestic and Universal Pictures International will handle international territories. The movie marks the feature debut of Australian-Macedonian writer-director Goran Stolevski, whose short film Would You Look At Her won Best International Short Film at 2018 Sundance Film Festival.