February 4, 2016 I Am Alone (Movie Review)
The Horror genre has seen an oversaturation with both Zombie and Found Footage themes, forcing filmmakers to think of new ways to stand out in the crowd. Hoping to do just that is Director and Writer Robert A. Palmer (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 2007-2008, The Potchki Chronicles 2001), along with Co-Writer Michael A. Weiss, with their new movie I Am Alone. The film, which was released on September 12, 2015 via Abstract Forces, combines not only Found Footage and Zombies, but a reality television show and wilderness survival as well. Considering both Palmer and Weiss have strong backgrounds producing and assisting popular reality television shows, the addition of that element is no surprise. After a strong festival run, which included winning several awards and nominations, there is no doubt that the film received the attention it was seeking.
Wilderness survivalist and realty show host Jacob Fitts (Gareth David-Lloyd: Torchwood 2006-2009, Doctor Who 2008) is filming an episode on how to survive alone in the Colorado Rockies. Strapped with a GoPro camera to document his journey, he heads deep into the mountains. Meanwhile, his television producer, Mason Riley (Gunner Wright: Life on Top 2009, Highway to Dhampus 2014), and camera crew head into the local Colorado town of Montrose to conduct resident interviews and get additional footage. While they are in town, the crew begins to witness odd things taking place. People are in the streets vomiting, running, and screaming while sirens are blaring in the near distance. Confused on what is happening, they make their way across town, attempting to get the madness on video. They witness a bloody mob attacking someone and the scene turns into chaos.
While Jacob is still alone and unaware of the outbreak in town, Mason goes on a mission to find him. Unfortunately, Jacob slowly, but surely discovers that people are turning into flesh-eating creatures and gets attacked. Jacob responds much differently to the infection than other people, taking him much longer to turn into a Zombie. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovers his body’s unique reaction and looks for an explanation. A doctor with the CDC, Dr. Marlow (Marshal Hilton: The Devil Dogs of Kilo Company 2015, The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse 2012), questions Mason in his underground office and both men review the footage from GoPro and surveillance cameras. This allows viewers to see all that took place.
While not all of the performances can be considered strong, Gareth David-Lloyd is undoubtedly the highlight of the film. With only his camera to interact with, viewers see him scared, isolated, confused, infected, and finally succumbing to his wound. David-Lloyd has the acting skill and charisma to handle the difficult role and keep it interesting. The cinematography was beautiful and the setting was well used, especially in the first half of the film.
There were a few drawbacks that did not allow the movie to reach its full potential. The actors portraying Zombies were clunky, the makeup and effects looked more amateur, and some of the angles made it obvious that a few parts were filmed with cameras other than GoPro and surveillance. Even with these interruptions, I Am Alone is a solid film that is worth the watch, especially for Found Footage and Zombie fans. CrypticRock gives I Am Alone 3 out of 5 stars.