When and Where Does Alone (2020) Take Place?

Alone,’ the John Hyams’ film starring Jules Willcox, presents a gripping narrative featuring a woman’s horrifying survival story where man and nature both become her aggressors. Following Jessica, a single woman out on a four-day move by road, the story delves into the protagonist’s traumatizing abduction that finds her in a cabin locked away in the woods. Thus, as she attempts to escape the strange and depraved man, Sam, Jessica faces immense physical and psychological hurdles, sending her life into a downward spiral.

Given the film’s tense thematic and narrative environment, viewers easily take notice of Jessica’s unusual geographical location away from the city, compelling them to wonder about the details regarding the film’s whereabouts.

Alone Takes Place In Contemporary Oregon

Although the film’s narrative never explicitly brings attention to the story’s geographical setting, content in following Jessica in her journey toward a fresh start, the woman’s story unfolds in the cold setting of Oregon, likely near Portland. Jessica’s narrative begins with the woman packing up her old life and embarking on a four-day drive. From there, the film takes a gradual terrifying turn as Jessica garners the unwanted attention of another traveler, who ends up attacking the woman after his kidnapping tricks fail to fool her.

Thus, Jessica’s rapidly worsening story changes scenery with the woman waking up in the middle of the woods in a remote cabin. While the narrative leaves little room to explore the cultural aspect of Oregon, the film’s nature survival genre inherently draws upon the state’s natural habitat. Thus, as Jessica finds herself fighting for her life in the elements, Oregon, famously housing a number of known productive forests, presents the perfect background for the story.

The environmental feature of the American State allows space for certain natural additions in Jessica’s paths for worse or for better, such as thick forestry, volatile rivers, caves, and local hunters in the area. These elements affix further thrill into an already dangerous situation, naturally raising the stakes for the protagonist.

On the other hand, Oregon’s relationship with missing person crime offers another realistic significance within the film. According to a Wisevoter report, Oregon ranks high in the list of missing person cases by State, earning itself a spot in the top ten with 432 reported cases in 2023. Consequently, while the film depicts a very concentrated account of Jessica’s experiences, it also remains reminiscent of the brutal real-life relevance of such stories.

For the same reasons, ‘Alone’s’ geographical setting within Oregon preserves space for significance within the film’s plot alongside its themes and narratives. On the other hand, the film’s timeline proves easy to pin down as a contemporary setting, somewhere in the late 2010s or early 2020s. The film features modern technology, often even equipping them as plot devices to facilitate the story’s movement forward.

For instance, Jessica never hesitates to employ technology as a helpful tool to ensure her safety or reach toward it. Likewise, the technology in the film is less likely to give up on the characters during convenient time, through signal freezes or battery drains— a frequent practice in more cliched horror stories. For the same reasons, the story is able to cement its contemporary setting without any disconnect. Likewise, the modern setting also provides an insight into the real-life relevance of the film’s events despite their fictional nature.

According to reports, there were more than sixty-four thousand reported missing person cases in 2022 of people over the age of 21 across the country. As such, within its contemporary timeframe, the film is able to establish the horror behind an issue— which remains prevalent in real life. In addition to the same, Jessica’s constant vigilance further cements the adaptation of culture around such crimes and their persisting scope despite the pre-emptive measures individuals may take. Thus, the film’s overall setting ends up affirming the story’s relation to real life.

Read More: Is Alone (2020) Inspired by a True Story?