The Alpines Spoiler Discussion and Explanation

The Alpines Spoiler Discussion and Explanation
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The Alpines Spoiler Discussion and Explanation!!! Oh boy do I have a fun one for you today. Gah. So much fun. Here at THiNC. we love our closed box films. You know, those single set films with just a handful of characters and a level of intensity that is really unexplainable to those who haven’t seen it. Those. Like Coherence, The Invitation, 10×10, you get the idea. Well, today the movie is The Alpines, and you can catch it on all the big streaming services I do believe. AppleTV, etc. And if you think of it… rent it like 4 times, let’s get Mally and team the cash she needs to write the next Alpines spin off.

But I can tell you this, Mally Corrigan crafted a mindjob of a movie here with this movie. She took seven people (are you watching closely?) and dropped them into a cabin, put the blender on high, then hit the blender with a sledge hammer. The only movie this cleverly intense that I can think off of the top of my head would be like, Green Room and Blue Ruin. Yes, that is high acclaim I just doled out right there. The gallows trap door on this thing is a monster good surprise, and I did not see it coming… no mam, I did not see this one coming. And I see them all coming. Did I mention yet you can watch it over on AppleTV?

Here, have a trailer… see what you think of it, then leave. (Specifically, go watch it, then come back.)

The Alpines Walkthrough

From here on out we will be dealing with spoilers. So please make sure that you watch before you continue. With that said…

There is literally no way I am going to be able to do my standard, detailed walkthrough of this film. Yes, I took notes. Yes, I literally know what happened and to whom. But I just can’t emotionally invest like that in this movie for the first 70% of the film. My brain will literally explode. But this movie is awesome none the less, and I’m dying to get to talking about it all the same. So the reason this one is difficult to track in detail for me is that the movie is about a group of seven friends, brought together again after years of being apart. Years of separation. And it’s really quite clear that lots of something have happened to them to sort of dismantle their friendships and this group as a whole. But for some reason… they are getting back together again.

The movie opens with Zack, in counseling, and his counselor wants to know how he is healing. But Zack can’t do it, he has to leave. And this? This is the cornerstone of the entire movie. He’s heading off to join his friends in a cabin in the woods. He’s strangely excited in spite of all the past chaos. Why is Zack excited? Hrmmm. Interesting. And as the group gets back together again, and old rivalries, and old truths come out, we learn more and more about their backstories and injuries done. We learn that prior to James’ meeting and marrying Rowan, he slept with Andy, and never mentioned it to Rowan. This comes out, and we learn that Rowan has been having an affair with her female yoga instructor for the past year. We learn that Gils has been supplying Roger with drugs to keep him and Logan from getting together. The revelations just keep coming. And they ultimately don’t matter… it’s just a million chaotic moments that are coming out and driving the temperature through the roof.

But Zack. Let’s get back to Zack. Zack always loved Andy from the first day he met her. But he could never find himself making a move, or taking the initiative. And while the guys in the group knew about Zack’s love for Andy, they continued sleeping with her, or pulling her away from Zack. And Zack was destroyed by it. So much so that he never made a play for Andy… never told her how he felt. During the weekend though, he does make a move, but she doesn’t even buy anything he is saying because it’s been so many years, and who could possible have sat on their feelings this long? It just doesn’t make sense.

Zack though, he has moved on his feelings. You see, because this entire weekend was his idea. He took the time out to invite everyone. And he did it from other members of the group he knew they would be sympathetic to, and would convince them to come. He also threatened the group with threatening scribblings on the wall about the group’s secrets. And throughout the weekend he left photos for Rowan in the bathroom of James and Andy, and missives in lipstick on the mirror about secrets. And it is this move that causes James to have to come clean with Rowan. But also, Rowan tells James that she was having this affair as well. WHICH, causes James to come completely unglued and murder Rowan. Zack also covered Andy in blood while she was napping, which was a reference to the secret of the abortion that she had as a result of her sleeping with James.

After James killed Rowan, Logan works it all backwards and figures out the fact that it had to be Zack who pulled them all together. Logan knew about Andy’s abortion, but she knew she hadn’t done it. And the only person that knew was Zack. So it had to be Zack that was behind everything. And with that, Zack gives James a gun and begs him to kill him. And we know he’s serious, because did you see the vertical gashes in this kids wrists? The length of them? This kid is legit. He really hoping to be his own personal John Doe from the film Se7en… and James to be his inverted grieving Detective Mills. But when that goes all wrong, Zack shoots James instead… and then a few other people. I sort of lost track the mayhem flew so fast and furious.

Sure, no one was supposed to die. Zack hadn’t anticipated how close to the edge everyone was and how hot his gasoline would burn. And as the narrator clues the audience in to what was happening, we hear him intone, “You see, humans are extremely simple creatures. Each individually formulated by a mixture of light and dark. Both good and evil. Most are balanced of the two, and the others? Not. But then there are the immoral, the messages, the warnings to the rectifiable, though forgiven by God are damned to a life of predetermined torment for their sins…

The Glutton – Roger the Glutton – no temperance 

Gil the greedy – no charity 

James the Wrathful – no patience

Rowan the Envious – no kindness

Andy the Lustful – no self control

Zack The Sloth – no Zeal 

And Logan the Proud? No humility.

No happiness. No virtues. No end. The story will never end…”

Thoughts on the Alpines – We’d been watching the seven deadly sins personified played out across the screen from minute one and I hadn’t had a clue. Tips hat to Mally. Well plaid scribe. Well played.

The only reason that The Alpines hits so powerfully is because we can see each of these characters played out in our own lives in various permutations and mixes. We can see Logan in us as we try desperately to control our fate, and not let go. We can see Andy in us as we lose control in that moment, desperately hoping for connection, or something other in that connection. We can all be greedy, wrathful, slothful on alternate days, or hell… on the same day. We are creatures of sin.

It should be noted that, contrary to believe, the seven deadly sins aren’t actually in the Bible. They were classified and categorized by Ponticus and then they became integral to the Catholic Church’s confessional practices… But Ponticus was basing the seven sins on the seven planets. And when an eighth was found, the seven became eight. The seven deadly sins also became foundational to Dante’s Purgatory, Chaucer’s Parson’s Tale. Even penances were drafted based on a hierarchy of these sins. (This idea being totally, 100% extra-biblical. How can one black paint be darker than the next black paint? In the face of the brightest white of snow – it’s all infinitely black.) But yeah, these seven sins have calcified into a logical construct that mean more than the individual components that make them up. But here is the crux of it. We are all sinners. All of us imperfect. Just a fact of the human condition. And we are all in need of saving. Thankfully… there is a way.

But I digress, The Alpines delves into this messiness of life. And although we can be forgiven by God, we wallow, we stomp, we roll in the mud of this messy life. We envy, we covet, we manipulate, we steal, we cheat… and sometimes that’s all before coffee. Or maybe it’s just me that is so messed up? Could be. But if you are honest with yourself life is hard. And about the only thing all humans are good at is lying about this fact. We lie about having it all together. We lie about how good we are, and how good our children are. We lie about the ways in which we think that we’ve figured it all out. And only in the dark of the night do we admit to ourselves how out of control it all really is.

The Alpines is Zack’s story of revenge… Sloth waking up and finding some Zeal, and a bit o’ revenge. But Zack is us. We are Zack. We are just as out for revenge as he is. We are just as controlling as Logan. And just as gluttonous as Roger. It is a universal story. And in its universalness, it is its connectedness.

If you’d like to watch my follow on video explainer – you can check it out over on Patreon.