Here Alone (2016)

herealone 750x422 - Here Alone (2016)

artwork coming soon 1 - Here Alone (2016)Starring Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson, Shane West

Directed by Rod Blackhurst


Premiering in the Midnight section of the Tribeca Film Fest this year, this film is probably best viewed in a vacuum. If the nearest theater doesn’t offer this and your living room isn’t properly equipped either, then Here Alone will probably be bagged and tagged as just another survival story taking place in a zombie-ravaged post-virus world where the few humans left fear each other more than the infected creatures trying to rip their faces off.

Rod Blackhurst directs his vision of this familiar setup almost like he’s channeling Terrence Malick at first, showing a woman becoming in tune with nature even if it’s a side effect of the apocalypse.

The solitary Ann (Walters) still had a small shred of life after most of the living became fertilizer, and through a series of flashbacks, we see her and her husband, Jason (West), and their baby daughter fight to stay alive in the remote woods where Jason grew up. As two wanderers, Chris and Olivia (Thompson and Piersanti) happen upon Ann and slowly gain her trust, the flashbacks tell how she came to be alone in the past just as she finds more people in the present. The main question of Here Alone is if they can survive together where they are or venture out in the hope of something better.

herealone1 - Here Alone (2016)

The real threat is despair and the dread that, once survival is all but guaranteed, the only thing worth living for is living itself. Aside from a few infected stragglers craving another bite, the only real danger comes toward the end of Here Alone when Ann’s forest paradise is threatened by her new guests and their interests. The proceedings are uneventful but pleasant, like a campfire story you’ve heard before but quietly sit through because you like the ending.

Any tension that exists among Ann, Chris, and Olivia doesn’t last long, which doesn’t do much to drive the story forward; and because Here Alone is set on slow cook, subdued scenes of Ann and Chris getting to know each other eventually become tiresome. Even though both actors have chemistry and the writing (at least until the end confrontation) is confident, there’s just not much happening underneath the surface and too few characters to create any real spark.

Just like the campfire story, Here Alone does have an ending worth getting to, and for such a simple story it exudes a real sense of dread and desperation. Dropping you at the end of one story instead of the beginning of the outbreak, David Ebeltoft’s script depicts the monotony of day-to-day existence in a ruined world that was never intended to be seen.

herealone - Here Alone (2016)

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