Director: Rod Blackhurst
Writer: David Ebeltoft
Cast: Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson, and Shane West
Synopsis: A woman struggles to survive on her own in the wake of a mysterious epidemic that has decimated society and forced her deep into the unforgiving wilderness.
*Reviewer Note: This will be a spoiler free review.*
The final film I’ll be reviewing from the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival last weekend is Here Alone. Before last weekend, I didn’t even know anything about Here Alone, hell I didn’t even know it was a film, but I’m glad the programmers got this to play this film because it really hit me surprisingly hard.
Here Alone follows Ann (Walters), who is living off in the woods by herself after a widespread epidemic has killed most if not all of society making them into mindless monsters. However, during a supply run she encounters two survivors in Chris (Thompson) and his stepdaughter Olivia (Piersanti) and reluctantly takes them in while Chris gets over an injury. What follows is Ann’s journey to rediscovering what it’s like to be around other people, and the three trying to survive.
Yes, you read that right, Here Alone is a zombie/infected film, well, it is more of a character piece and focuses more on the human side of things opposed to constantly trying to avoid hordes of the undead film. The film doesn’t even refer to them as the infected since Ann, Chris and Olivia avoid them at all costs. We do see the infected in the film, but they literally have about five minutes of screen time near the end of the film. This is something that I really appreciated about the film, because even when the infected are introduced, the focus is still on the human characters, more specifically Ann.
Here Alone will definitely test you. One, it’s a slow pace that feels like an art house film at times. The whole first act of the film is Ann doing her daily regimen with little to no dialogue, but seeing Lucy Walters go through the motions with the great cinematography by Adam McDaid it really keeps you engaged. Of course, some will probably find it boring, which is fine, but personally I liked the change of pace. Second, Ann’s full story takes a while to really develop, even though we can assume and deduct what happened to her since her flashbacks include her and her husband played by Shane West. Despite that, I loved the editing when everything came full circle on Ann’s story.
When it comes to the main actors Walters does everything she can to be engaging as possible, and for the most part she succeeds. The only reason I bring it up is because the cast is so limited you can see the limits the characters and the performances. Adam David Thompson’s Chris has his moments, and Gina Piersanti’s Olivia has an interesting arc in the film and the payoff is a little mishandled in my opinion, but overall the performances are good.
All in all, Here Alone doesn’t necessary bring anything really new to the genre and these types of films, but it doesn’t mean it’s worth the watch. The film did crush me after watching it, and stuck with me way after.
5 out of 5