Directed by Dante Aubain, The Alpines shows the story of 7 people who were friends in college and are invited to a farmhouse by one of them. However, from the very beginning, the friction that some of them share is very much visible. Despite this, they seem to behave normally, letting bygones be bygones until the audience is brought in on their secrets, one person at a time. And that “secrets are no fun.”
‘The Alpines’ Plot Summary – The Warning
As the people realize that they don’t know who invited them to the farmhouse, they begin to explore it. And that’s when they, along with the audience, come face to face with the warning. On a wall in the barn are written the following words in blood, “Secrets Secrets are no fun. Seven Sinners. One is done.” If you have seen the movie, you would probably think that the “one” who is “done” is perhaps Zach. If you haven’t, continue reading.
Rowan and James are married to each other. Logan and Gil are now separated (they were engaged). Zach has just broken off with his girlfriend and is presently undergoing therapy. And Roger is a drug addict. But that’s not all. As we mentioned earlier, secrets are there. The Alpines explores just how much we as humans rely on our secrets to maintain our relationships, be it mending, breaking, or carrying them forward. And this is precisely what 6 of them did except for Zach. The whole movie begins with him, shows his perceptions of the world multiple times, and ends with him. So, while we tend to believe that Zach is the only one who truly doesn’t rely heavily on his secrets, this belief turns on its head by the end of the movie.
As the plot progresses, friction begins to occur as we, along with the characters, begin to find out about the secrets they carry. Let’s divide the people based on their secrets:
- Rowan and James
Rowan is having an affair. Also, she doesn’t like the fact that Logan and Andy get along great, but she doesn’t. James, too had been physical with another girl that Rowan didn’t know about.
- Logan, Gil, and Roger
Logan used to like Roger in college, and Gil hated him for it. That’s why he got Roger drugs lying that it would help with his stress during his finals.
Roger and Logan had a physical relationship while she was with Gil. Roger doesn’t like Gil because he knows what’s going on between Gil and Logan and still has feelings for her.
Logan still likes (has feelings for) Roger.
Zach has been in love with Andy since their college days.
Andy was pregnant with Roger’s child and had an abortion.
However, these secrets come out slowly, some before the bonfire, some after it. So, the bonfire scene is the marker for us, more like the climax of the movie.
The Truth-or-Dare game they “play” by the fire is where their pasts appear on their faces. The anger that some of them have for one another begins to reveal itself. Through the game, each of them tries to taunt the other by asking about their secrets or trying to make them reveal those in some way via truth or dare. While short in its nature, the bonfire scene culminates into the revelation.
There is no haunting that will scare the audience so much as the shock. Towards the end of the movie, Rowan and James find out about each others’ secrets, and James kills her. Gil and Roger get into a fight with Logan as the reason. Andy finds herself drenched in blood. And amidst all this commotion, only Zach remains standing.
Everyone pauses when they see Andy in her state and ask her about it. At this point, Andy reveals that Logan drenched her in blood as a prank because only she knew about her abortion (here, the drenched-in-blood symbol is used for abortion). But Logan says it isn’t true. She wasn’t the only one because she told Zach about it too. This is when Zach breaks. And for those who haven’t realized, the “one” who is “done” is Zach.
‘The Alpines’ Ending Explained
Zach was the one who sent the letters to each of them. He wrote the warning in the barn. During the revelation, he even gave James a gun so that James could kill him. But he doesn’t. Thus, Zach shoots and kills him instead. It’s as if his only job was to kill Zach, in which he failed. Death was his punishment. He even shoots Gil in his arm. This is where Zach’s mind takes control over him, and he gets to be the deciding factor of what’s to become of whom. That he was the secret-keeper without being able to share with anyone took a toll on him. This time, it would be him who would spill the secrets of everyone, one might say, for revenge.
There was a time when everyone indulged in him, but nobody asked him about what he was going through. And before he knew it, he was abandoned by them all. The day he cut his wrists, he called them all, but none answered. The burden he was carrying was for nothing. And as the last secret for the remaining ones, i.e., Logan, Roger, Andy, and Gil (hurt but alive) to keep, he shoots himself.
Often, we end up sharing painful secrets with a person without knowing that the pain of that secret will, from then on, be shared by that person. We vent out the pain while somewhere, forgetting that the person is imbibing it in him or her. It’s like a plant that needs watering. If you stop watering, the plant will die. Just like that, if you stop indulging in that person all of a sudden, something in the person dies too.
The feeling of importance loses its meaning, and no matter how much you try, sometimes there’s no way back. There’s only a way out. And in The Alpines, that way out was to spill. But what? Secrets or blood?
The Alpines is a 2021 psychological thriller directed by Dante Aubain from a screenplay written by Mally Corrigan.