HERE ALONE (2017)
With the zombie/infected sub-genre being overplayed right now, it is at least somewhat refreshing when a movie tries to do something a little bit different with it. Sadly, focusing on survivor drama is also getting played-out and this film tries hard, but really didn’t offer anything new. The story finds Ann (Lucy Walters) now alone after loosing her husband (Shane West) and baby during some kind of viral outbreak which has produced the usual vicious zombie-like infected. She survives alone in the woods until she comes across fellow survivors teen Olivia (Gina Peirsanti) and her step-father Chris (Adam David Thompson). Now the three must try to learn to trust each other and bond as the threat of infected attack is always just outside their campfire.
Flick is well directed by Rod Balckhurst from a script by David Ebeltoft, and really tries to add a different slant to a very tired sub-genre, but just doesn’t quite give it a unique enough spin to make it completely engaging. We have three survivors of a situation that is very overplayed, trying to learn to trust each other after suffering their own loses and pain. We get to know Ann through flashbacks to the beginning of the outbreak and then the deaths of her husband and child. We understand why she may be hesitant to get attached to new people. Her survival routine is well portrayed as she tries to outwit the infected who inhabit a nearby house filled with canned food. Then she must deal with Chris and Olivia, including feelings for the man and jealousy from teen Olivia. It’s all well-done, but sadly nothing really new enough to really keep one’s interest for the almost hour and forty minutes. There is some intensity in the last act, as there is the inevitable confrontation with the infected where Ann must make a choice between her feelings for Chris and her motherly instincts towards Olivia. It plays out dramatically well, as Blackhurst appears to be a solid director and the acting is good, too, but what comes before is just a somewhat toned done version of what can basically be seen on Walking Dead each week. A nice effort, but one that falls short due to familiarity of a sub-genre currently…and ironically…being beaten to death.