Saturday, 15 July 2017

Review: Here Alone (2016)

Stars: Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Rod Blackhurst

The tired old zombie apocalypse setting needs to do something special these days to grab the attention of people.
(unless your a die hard zombie fan like me who'll give anything zombie based a go)

This movie thankfully does break the usual mold, still holding a few tropes and also making a few silly mistakes here and there.

Since the death of my son I also find it hard to watch films where babies end up in any kind of peril too. This, the hallows and a few others i find hard to watch due to this reason.
But thankfully this movie had a lot going for it that kept me powering through the scenes involving the baby.

The setting is more infected rather than zombie they are maddened and fast much the likes of 28 days later, yet they do crave food especially in human shaped form.

Lucy Walters stars as Ann a woman who has survived this viral outbreak thanks to her husbands fast thinking and skills in the wild. We join Ann in the woods where her husband Jason was brought up, she is alone and isolated. We realise Ann smears herself in dung etc to mask her scent from the crazy people when she needs to get food. We see her in this state as the film starts she then quickly gets naked and cleans herself off in the nearby lake.
We watch as she slowly eats her supplies then checks her traps to find nothing caught in them running low we see her do her dung trick and head off to a nearby house looking for supplies.

Finding some food she unfortunately makes some noise and attracts a few of the crazies. In so doing she drops a few of the tins on the ground after putting her pack down for a while.
On her way back she spots a young girl and a man stumbling around on the road she seems to decide whether to help them or not. Once the man stumbles once last time and falls to the ground as he passes out Ann decides to help them.
The young woman is Olivia and the man is her step father, Chris. In-between peeks at how her husband taught her to survive in the wild and then losing him We see her strike up a friendship with Olivia and Chris regain his strength.

Trust is hard though to begin with especially for the jaded Ann, Chris (in a bout of good acting and writing) starts to win over Ann though coaxing more and more information about her past. There is some real humanity on offer here, where they start to relax and laugh with each other.
This is where two of the things that make me go a bit off the film happen one is of course the flashbacks to just her and her child left surviving, of which the baby gets some blood smeared on her because Ann carelessly picks her up while splattered with crazy blood.
This of course leads to the baby getting infected and Ann having to crush loads of aspirin tablets (and blood) into some milk to send the baby off.

The second thing is a sub plot that Olivia is actually in love with her step father and when Ann and him start to fall for each other she gets jealous over it. I know they needed something, something other than an inevitable camp invasion from the viral's but this was just a little off putting especially as Olivia initially seems to come across as quite intelligent and wanting to learn from Ann.

So the film continues on in this fashion until Ann and Chris eventually have sex much to Olivia's chagrin as she had also the same night prepared herself to have sex with Chris too. She rebels after seeing them stealing food and eating loads while they spend the night together.
She is attacked in the forest too and just about saved by Chris and Ann, low on food they decide to go foraging again. Chris distracts the viral's while Olivia and Ann check out the same house as earlier. Again Olivia in a uncharacteristic and stupid jealous bout knocks Ann out and ties her to a cupboard and screams to attract viral's.

Ann being plucky escapes the bonds and the infected and gets back to her camp seeing both Chris and Olivia being attacked by the infected. With one bullets left she keeps aiming between Chris and Olivia unable to decide who to save (I know who I would).
But you know here at THN we won't spoil endings of good or even half decent films unless they're so abysmal it's not worth watching them. This despite it's flaws to me both in the story and person reasons is well worth a watch, THN awards Here Alone 4 out of 5 stars.

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