"Another Me" centers on the teenager Fay (Sophie Turner), whose life gradually spirals out of control, as she becomes convinced that a menacing doppelganger is following her and threatening to ruin her world and take her place. We are introduced to Fay at a crucial event in her life - her dad being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis - and it is exactly this event that seems to unlock the strange and eerie episodes which will haunt Sophie's character onward. In this regard, "Another Me", is first and foremost a psychological thriller with underlying dramatic nuances and not a supernatural horror movie in the most strict sense of the word, although it definitely contains some quite chilling scenes, especially the sequences that take place in a creepy underpass, which were excellently shot and realized, capitalizing fully on the perfect visual balance of light and darkness. Coixet's "partner in crime" - cinematographer Jean-Claude Larrieu did a tremendous job as usual, so that these scenes prove very impressive and memorable.
In my mind, the closest comparison to "Another Me" is the US-version of "Dark Water"(2005) - although the movies' stories are different, they occupy the same genre-niche of psychological horror, the emotions that both of these films invoke and the impressions they imprint on the viewer's mind are of the same art, and both of them were very similarly (and quite undeservedly if i might add) bashed by almost all critics and horror-fans alike. The most recent successful example in this genre would be "The Babadook" and I'm sure many people will vigorously object to even putting both of these films in the same sentence on the basis of "The Babadook" being already established as an unimaginably clever and deeply philosophical work of art among horror movies, whereas "Another Me" is supposedly not nearly that complex or "artsy". Well, I beg to differ. Coixet's film is every bit as thought-provoking and absorbing, if not more, as the Australian horror-hit, but contrary to what that film did, it does not revel in forced and over-the-top acting to get its' point across. "Another Me" is quite content in painting a seemingly calmer, but ultimately more disturbing darkness - that of the inner world of everyday people set on a collision course with inevitable tragedy, people who have lost their inner peace, but are seeking to claim it back - each in their own way. The central character Fay is a fairly normal teenager, who suffers the echoes and after-effects of her parents' collapsing marriage, brought on by her dad's looming sickness and the subsequent confusion and fear, as she realizes that a mysterious unexplained supernatural presence is following her around and often impersonating her, as if bent on claiming her life. She seeks escape in the arts - photography, taking part in a school staging of Macbeth, basically a very bright kid. Fay's dad (Rhys Ifans) is plagued by the consuming weight of guilt for a desperate decision he took in the past, in addition to the decimating effects of his excruciating condition on his physical and mental strength and his family life. There is a tangible rift between him and his wife Ann (Claire Forlani) in the days following the harrowing diagnose and the only solace he finds is in conversing with his daughter, always interested in her daily routine, in her troubles and worries. Indeed, Fay seems to be closer to her dad, especially after she finds out her mom's secret. Ann, unable to cope with the pressure and burden of having to take care of her sick husband and watch him slowly fall apart, seeks relief outside the family nest. And while her actions are of course most disagreeable, this movie doesn't aim to trample on its' characters and bluntly criticize them, it merely shows their flaws and allows you to at least partially understand them, if not condone them. This is most obvious in the scene where Fay finally confronts her mom (after she has known for quite a while) about her extramarital affair. Virtually in every other film I have seen, this type of scene is accompanied by insulting behavior, a lot of screaming and bickering is involved, subsequent sobbing, etc. In "Another Me" this scene is done in a more restrained way - Fay is clearly angry at her mom's actions, but doesn't sound disrespectful when she confronts her, in fact the dialogue between the two of them is handled in such a sense, that it seems like two adult people discussing their problems, rather than just a mother and her teenage daughter dwelling in accusations and insults.
There are of course downsides to the film and although I didn't feel they were harming the overall impression, I will nevertheless discuss. Some people mentioned the romantic relationship between Fay and her classmate Drew, in terms of it not being fully developed and in some ways distracting from/conflicting with the overall story and the tone of the film. There is some truth to that - it's there just to provide a contrast to the oppressive events depicted in the first 60 minutes and to offer its' central character her own sense of escape from reality. It could have been handled much better though, by revealing more of the reasons why Drew and Fay connect so easily, what are the special things they find and appreciate in each other. Restricted in a 86-minute format, the film doesn't have too much time to focus on that though or to show more of Drew's character. It seems decided on immersing the viewer in its' dreary atmosphere and delivering a sense of dread and unease. And deliver it does. Scene by scene the shadows move closer on its' central character and on us as viewers, right until the twist-ending, which while not being particularly original or hard to foresee, is a truly competent conclusion and it works both in the straight supernatural sense, as well as in the more metaphorical sense of interpretation.