I Am Alone (2015) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Hello cupcakes! Today I’m going to share with you my thoughts on indie zombie flick “I Am Alone”.  Bottom line with this film is I really enjoyed it.  It’s not perfect, but it’s well worth a watch.

When an unknown virus begins infecting the local population almost instantly, the CDC uncovers footage of one man, a survivalist and TV journalist, who is only slowly affected and whose footage just may be able to help them find a cure.

With its limited budget, the found footage format makes sense. It’s organic to the story and lends itself well to building a sense of suspense through the POV footage. We follow Jacob (Gareth David-Lloyd of TV’s “Torchwood”), an experienced survivalist and presenter shooting a Bear Grylls-style reality TV show in the Colorado mountains.  Leaving his friends and film crew/producers Adam and Mason in the small town to shoot additional material, he sets off to ‘lose’ himself in the wilderness.  “I Am Alone” borrows more than a little from “The Blair Witch Project”: the recovered footage gimmick, the mix of small-town weirdos and isolated locations mixing in to the up the anxiety of an escalating situation which has no explanation.

As good as the film is in its set up and story, it’s let down by the special effects, no doubt a casualty of the tight budget.  The blood and wounds weren’t great –closer to “Shaun Of The Dead” in its style and quality. I suspect the money was spent on location shooting and it pays off, providing a beautiful natural backdrop to the horror unfolding as the infection spreads and claims more victims.

The dialogue can be a little stilted, likely improvised, but mostly in the ‘present day’ sections. The flashbacks to the found footage are stronger. There’s some well-developed conflict between characters to heighten the drama as they struggle to understand the nature of the infection and the film is deliberately paced to allow the corrosive drip drip drip of mutual distrust and desperation to unpick the bonds of civilisation. The pace of the film is something of a double-edged sword. The zombies of “I Am Alone” are the slow, foot-dragging kind that even I could outrun, so you never really get the sense of blind panic that you get from films like “World War Z” or “Dawn of the Dead” when those fuckers are fast, aggressive and swarming en masse, meaning the horror is drawn from the inexorable collapse of life as we know it. Although the film is a trim 90 minutes, there are a few scenes which don’t really add much to the main story and the addition of a “wife at home” didn’t really work for me and didn’t add much in terms of fleshing out our hero as he’s already pretty well-rounded thanks to David-Lloyd’s Performance.

There are a couple of scenes I felt were redundant, Our hero’s relationship with his wife was completely surplus to requirement in this story – he was already real for me without the clumsily used “wife at home” to make him more personable or vulnerable and if she was removed from the film completely I don’t think we’d lose anything valuable.

Score-wise, I’d give “I Am Alone” a solid 6-6.5 undead cupcakes out of 10. For a low budget Indie, it’s pretty good and if you’re a fan of zombie movies, there will be something in this for you.

6/10 

 

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