Here Alone

11/30/2017 07:54

Film: Here Alone

Year: 2016

Director: Rod Blackhurst

Writer: David Ebeltoft

Starring: Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti and Adam David Thompson



This film begins with a woman covered in something that looks to be mud. She is played by Lucy Walters and she cleans it off in a nearby lake. It starts to rain and she relaxes in it. We see her as she is surviving out in these woods by setting traps, disguising her car with mud and leaves. We then learn a bit about who she is.

The film jumps back and forth between the past and present. There was an outbreak of something that causes those infected to become zombies. Walters is at home with her husband, played by Shane West. They hear gunshots and they know they have to hurry. They also have a baby together. It is decided that they will go out into the woods to survive, getting away from everything.

While splicing in scenes from the past, we really delve into what Walters does to survive. We learn that the stuff she smears on herself is feces that she collects from animals around the area. She seems to be alone at the moment and we at first aren’t sure what happened there. We see that he taught her how to shoot their only rifle that has dwindling ammunition. She urinates into buckets and eats very little to ration what she has. She also cuts her arm and collects the blood into a jar.

We see her cover herself in feces and then goes to a fence that is a hike away. She turns on a toy phone that belonged to her daughter and lodges a stick in it so it will play a noise. She then pours the blood on it. We hear the screaming of something as it is lured to where she placed this toy. She then goes over the fence to collect supplies.

She comes to a house that has two deceased people on a couch with a shotgun. She checks it for ammo, but it is empty. She packs up as much food as she can and flees. She is chased through the fence and cuts herself trying to go through. Trying to deal with this, she drops some of the cans she collected. She makes it back to camp and cleans the wound. When she dumps out what she collected, she realizes it isn’t much.

The next day she goes back for the fallen cans and when she is crossing the road, she sees someone helping someone else. She approaches and the one who is awake is played by Gina Piersanti. The man with her is knocked out with a gash on his head. This is her stepfather, who is played by Adam David Thompson. She takes them back to her camp.

There she cleans Thompson’s cut and stitches it up. She talks with Piersanti, giving her food. The next day, Thompson wakes up. Their plan is to hit the road the following day and they thank her for her help. When it is storming though, they decide to stay. The trio settles into a life that returns to some normalcy, but Piersanti and Thompson still have plans to head north. Walters on the other hand, wants to stay where she is. This is more complicated when Thompson starts to fall for Walters while Piersanti becomes jealous.

What happened to Walters’ husband and child? Will they stay at the camp or will they all head out together? What will happen in this odd love triangle? How bad is this zombie epidemic?

I heard about this film due to a podcast I listen to that had done an episode about it. I came in not knowing anything since they do spoilers so I wanted to watch this film before checking that out. This film was quite interesting to me. Now I’ve grown up with zombies so I’m always down to check out a film where that is the monster. This one is really a slow burn type zombie film though. We really don’t see much of them. Literally I’d say that they might have 5 minutes where they are directly dealt with. We see in this film that in present day, Walters has an idea of how to deal with them and in the past we see that she was still learning. Another thing about this is we have an idea what happened to her in the past, but seeing it play out was still very sad. The film has a great feel of isolation to the point where when faced with the change to move on, she is kind of ingrained in what she has going and doesn’t want to leave it. She also is punishing herself, which I completely understand. How the ending plays out was pretty to good to me as well.

Something I was going to touch on in the last paragraph I will touch on here. Acting in a film like this is important. Walters is the star of the film as we are getting her past and seeing her trying to survive. It would be tough to have as much of the film with her alone as it does, because it requires you command the screen. I think the film is smart in showing what she does on a daily basis, because it is believable and makes sense. As humans we need normalcy to survive. The love triangle is quite bazaar. Piersanti I feel falls for Thompson, because there is no other men around and she has been traveling and knows him. It is the fact that there is no one else there and she is ignoring that he was with her mother until she passed away. Thompson was solid as well. I thought there might have been something odd going on with him and Piersanti, but as we see him more we see there isn’t. You do get the feeling that he really wants to be with Walters the more as time goes on. I also thought West was solid with the little amount of time on screen he had.

I first want to touch on the editing of this film for this section. I loved that they spliced the past and the present together. What we see though in the past connects with something she is doing now, which I thought was great. We see that when she first gets to the woods, she doesn’t know what to do, but she learned. I feel this makes the film much more believable. The zombies do not have a lot of time on screen, but they are made up with practical effects and look great. I do believe they are running zombies so keep that in mind. I don’t feel the soundtrack was there for most of the film, but it did help build the tension when it was needed, which was good.

Now with that said, I liked this film. This film is showing how Walters is surviving during this epidemic and it does so in a believable way. The film is quite slow though, so keep that in mind coming in. It is a slow burn with a payoff at the end. Don’t come in thinking that payoff at the end is super exciting though, so many might not be satisfied there. I thought the acting really does carry this film. There is an odd dynamic that makes the film uncomfortable. I thought the editing to make the past and present explain the story was a good touch. The zombies aren’t seen a lot, but they are done practically and look good. I also felt that the soundtrack helped to build tension when it was needed to and doesn’t take away when it doesn’t. I would say this is an above average film and a good take on the zombie genre.


My Rating: 7 out of 10