Here Alone (2017)
Starring Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson
Directed by Rod Blackhurst
The idea of an “end of the world ask we know it” scenario is without a doubt a frightening prospect (and no, I’m not talking about an R.E.M. reference). In director Rod Blackhurst’s apocalyptic, slow-burning thriller, Here Alone, a woman faces a solitary existence after a viral plague has eradicated the populous, leaving to fend for herself in a world that’s drastically changed.
Lucy Walters holds down the lead role as Ann, a woman that’s been on the move since this whole “viral outbreak” commenced, leaving she and her husband (Shane West in an abbreviated role), alongside their infant daughter to try to outlast this horrific plague. Learning a bevy of survival skills along the way from her husband, Ann becomes adept at foraging for food, learning to cover her scent (pretty nasty technique), and most importantly how to handle a rifle. Now with the film’s opening you can plainly see that Ann is all alone (hence the title), so it should come as no surprise, and shouldn’t be looked at as a spoiler that her family doesn’t survive the outbreak, further tempering her resolve. As with many other films before this one, there normally is somewhat of a conversion in the human condition when they are afflicted with whatever’s infecting their system, and as fate would have it, people end up getting sick, then their brains turn into mush, rendering them into hyperactive, over-aggressive flesh-craving lunatics. The solace here is that there isn’t too much of a focus on the “zombie-killing” aspect, but the condition of the human psyche before and after a great loss.
Ann stumbles across a man (Thompson) and his step-daughter (Piersanti), allowing them to take shelter with her, and the three form a trio of unlikely oddments, and one can only hope that their future will bring promise and sustainability…but we all know how “hopes and wishes” end up in these types of films. The movie certainly does have its share of sluggish paces, but fear not, it’s definitely all for the betterment of the overall presentation, and coupled with every performer giving off honest-to-goodness portrayals of characters at their lowest moments of continuance, this is an extremely gripping piece of celluloid to dive into. Blackhurst opted to formalize just a tiny piece of the undead element into play, and relied on the true horror for what it is: the fear of the unknown, and the realization that tomorrow might be more hazardous than the day before it – make sure you give this one a solid look when it makes its way to you.