“You Won’t Be Alone” (2022), an unorthodox Witches tale


A child is kidnapped by an evil spirit in 19th century Macedonia and turned into a witch. She’s able to inhabit the souls of her victims and take their shape, allowing her to explore the human world


The sense of wonder is embedded into every shot of “You Won’t Be Alone” (2022) as writer and director, Goran Stolevski, gives us an unorthodox approach to the idea of a Witch. A shape-shifting wound-healing evil that is guided by a malformed spirit, but more so interested in humanity than her upbringing. The story, told in a non-chronological structure, explores the necessities of human life and the ineffable thing that is human nature. It’s undoubtedly told in the Malick fashion – long lingering camera shots tilting towards the sky, lushness in the lighting, a soft whispered voiceover to probe the audience, and an overlooked plot in favor of that sense of wonder. As much as I admire what Stolevski is attempting to do with this story, the tone is overstuffed with inflection without giving me a reason to engage with this character. It’s a beautifully composed film, but a bit hollow from a story perspective.


  • The opening scene and subsequent scene of the main character, Nevena, played by three different actresses, alone in a cave and the evil demon spirit that transforms her is a mood piece. Her waking up and experiencing the human world, now living as a Witch, builds a sense of wonderment.
    • Early on, the cinematography is lush and heavy on beaming natural lights that come through holes in the cave. The filmmaking captures an almost childlike sense of wonder, as if were experiencing life for the first time
  • The makeup effects, where wounds heal instantly, are well done. Seamless, realistic effects that work for this world
    • Add on the blackened witch nails, corrosive skin, and dirty teeth and the makeup team (or vfx team) nailed it
  • Soft piano sounds, and plenty of natural light with a lack of dialogue or tension, despite her unsullied upbringing, really make this feel Malick-like.
    • Warm lighting with fire as the source. Unorthodox aesthetic and mood for a film of this subject.
  • Noomi Rapace, as Nevena, is excellent. She oversells aspects of her character, but there’s a genuine feeling of assimilation to her that’s difficult to capture organically.
  • The scaly makeup looks bizarre and ugly. But doesn’t make one look away in disgust. In other regards, it’s a little fake looking
  • It’s a unique take on the Witch archetype and even evolves into a man
  • The cut to a zoom shot that shows the villagers visibly disturbed by Nevena’s unknowingness and lack of social awareness. Excellent edited and shot scenes.
  • Carlotta Cotta, who plays the male version of Nevana, is proving to get the character. It’s all facial expressions and reacting, but far more nuanced than one would imagine
    • His face during the sex scene of absolute ecstasy, but disillusionment is a rather strange but welcomed take. Says a lot about the character.
      • I do wonder what happens when you have sex with a witch though. I assume you get some sort of STD or maybe Rosemary’s Baby?
      • Update on the Baby: she does get pregnant and it tears her insides to shreds. Pulse-pounding shrieking and plenty of blood. A Damned existence viscerally captured
  • The tone, while consistent and filled with wonder, gets a tad bit overplayed. Funny enough, that’s my same exact issue with most Malick films. The film doesn’t want to take a breath or dabble with other emotions. It comes at a bit of a detriment.
  • Not to mention, WHISPERED DIALOGUE which is a trite reproduction. Philosophical in its exploration of human truth, asking questions rather than answering
  • The screenplay is structured in a non-chronological order that shows the result of a scene before revealing what happened later. It’s a strong choice for this narrative and speaks to the supernatural presence of witches
  • The structure is interesting, but it becomes repetitive. However, the fact that she jumps through time allows for the filmmakers to explore many sides to the same character.
  • The film comes to a halt when the evil spirit enters the picture again. No music plays. It’s a moment where the film tells you – hey, listen.
  • Gorgeously composed cinematography. It’s less the production or costume design, it’s the cosmic moodiness of the aesthetic in the way it’s photographed. Many shots placed above characters with plenty of ceiling space or low-horizon shots with beautiful mountainside terrain
  • The final frame and existential nature of this film is captured in the close-up on Nevana’s face.

Review: ★★★

Verdict: Not Weird Enough

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