Low budget films lend themselves well to survivalist, zombie laden subject matter, and “Here Alone” fits perfectly within that genre. Indie filmmakers have to work harder than most to build tension and create a sense of isolation, often finding thrills in a simple image or familiar sound. Director Rod Blackhurst mostly succeeds in this enjoyable, if unoriginal and slightly commonplace, post apocalyptic outbreak movie.
The story takes place in the wilderness of upstate New York, where we first meet Ann (Lucy Walters), a young woman who is struggling to survive on her own after a mysterious disease has killed off most of humanity. Ann spends her days with a strict regimen of foraging for food and hiding from the bloodthirsty zombies that are constantly on the prowl for their next human meal. When she runs out of her last box of crackers, she must prepare to head into town in an attempt to stay alive.
Ann spends most of the movie alone and isolated (with an oftentimes painfully slow setup through gradual scenes that go on far too long) until she meets fellow survivors Olivia (Gina Piersanti) and her injured dad (Adam David Thompson), a duo on the way up north in search of a rumored camp of fellow survivors. She invites them to stay at her camp, where a romance soon blossoms and tensions begin to flare.
There’s nothing new to this story (or storytelling method) and the plot is more than a little predictable. Ann’s story is told through brief intermittent flashbacks where we see the early days of the epidemic. We know she escaped with her husband (Shane West) and infant daughter, but where they are in present day is left unclear for the majority of the film. The most compelling aspect of the movie comes late in the story, but thankfully that doesn’t lessen its effectiveness.
“Here Alone” may not have a distinctive voice, but it’s still a well made zombie movie that shows a complete understanding of and respect for the genre.
THIS FILM WAS SCREENED AND REVIEWED AT THE 2016 NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL
Matt was unavailable for review.