Monday, September 9, 2019

Here Alone

Here Alone (2016)

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Some amount of time after zombies... happen, Ann (Lucy Walters) is living alone in a car in the forest. She has a pretty good gig going, living in total seclusion and occasionally leaving her camp to raid houses in the nearby countryside for supplies. Things are going great until Chris (Adam David Thompson) and his step-daughter Olivia (Gina Piersanti) arrive, not only throwing Ann's routine out of whack, but also making her confront the deaths of her husband (Shane West) and baby, causing her to ponder whether she wants to remain... here alone.

  • A good chunk of the movie is just gorgeous shots of what I thought had to be BC but is actually upstate New York. Both the scenery and cinematography are lovely (+2)
  • Ann uses books to try to learn survival skills. Books are our friends after the apocalypse (+1)
  • Here Alone really drives home how interminably boring surviving the zombie apocalypse would actually be (+1)
    • It also makes a point that, no matter how prepared you think you are - for example, Ann's husband thinks he's some kind of survival master and that they're just going to go live off the land - you still might get fucked (+1)
    • It also also makes the point that living of the land is really fucking hard (+1)
  • I liked Ann a lot, she is very clever. Lucy Walters is great, carrying the movie on her own for like twenty minutes. Her character's progression from a naive city girl in flashbacks to a hardened hermit is interesting (+3)
  • The movie builds tension really well, there were several very nerve-wracking scenes (+1)
    • The horror of surviving a zombie scenario with a baby is palpable. Like, you know something is going to go down with the baby because the baby only appears in the flashbacks, but I really didn't want to see anything happen to that baby, ya know? (+2)
  • Chris is kind of a dink, showing up and almost immediately starting to tell Ann what to do (-2)
  • I was more worried than I should have been about the health consequences of the characters possibly drinking lake water (-1)
  • The human drama between the three characters is great and also very stressful (+1)
    • To that point, Olivia ends up being scarier than the zombies, in a lot of ways. She honest to god made me afraid (+3)
  • A lot of the dialogue is really good, with characters talking like actual normal people rather than Movie People (+1)
    • It gets cheesy towards the end though (-1)
    • The acting is good which makes up for it (+1)
  • We don't even see a zombie until about an hour into the movie but it doesn't feel like a drag (+1)
  • This movie is a recipient of the coveted No Phone Award, because I didn't look at my phone through the whole thing (+1)
  • Despite sitting in the woods for who knows how long, the car's battery still somehow works (-1)
Final Score: 15 thumbs up

Here Alone is an engrossing drama about the ugly side of the zombie apocalypse. It's an answer to all of the testosterone fueled, high energy survival movies where the only real threat is running out of bullets. It's an atypical zombie movie, very slow paced and light on gore, so it probably won't do a whole lot for some people. But it's also really interesting and well done, so I'd recommend it if the lack of violence isn't a dealbreaker.

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