TIFF '11 Lanthimos delivers on his followup to 'Dogtooth" with this intelligent and intriquing script by himself and Efthymis Filippou. It's a film that asks does it really matter who the people in our life really are as long as they provide the role we expect of them. What relationships are real? Do we play different roles for different people in our lives? A film that keeps you guessing well executed.
In terms of comparison, the only thing lacking was the amazing cinematography of Dogtooth. In my mind, Alps is a great film that deals with the effects of loss and displacement in a very, very bizarre way - which is perhaps the only accurate treatment of it.
It's a different beast than "Dogtooth" and shouldn't be viewed in the same context. "Alps" encapsulates the endless, recursive substitutions that people seek and provide. These roles exist solely in the absence of something -- something that has been lost in time, in memory, in fantasy, in tragedy. The existential void is palpable in every starkly composed scene yet begins to fill with emotional urgency.
It seems to me that the souls of the characters are either dead or in death agony; and they want it so badly to twist that situation by wearing the soul of a dead person in order to be able to survive, which is in fact a very strong idea. What prevents 'Alps' being a five-star film is its lacking sense of continuity.