09 December 2015

I Am Alone 2015 - REVIEW

In a time where found footage and reality TV are all the rage, it's getting harder and harder to find anything enjoyable about either one. Usually found footage is full of jumbled images, horrid audio and vomit inducing footage and I'm pretty sure I don't even need to get into the farce that is reality TV... *cough* Don't Be Tardy *cough*. Relax, I only saw about 5 minutes of it ONCE and that was more than enough for me. Point is that when filmmakers find something "catchy"... found footage... it gets done and done over and over again until viewers just scroll right passed it. I tend to do it quite often these days simply because it is so over done and for the most part not well. Which brings me to I Am Alone.

Survivalist and reality TV star Jacob Fitts (Gareth David-Lloyd) sets out to document his seven day adventure in the Rockies for episode 413 of his TV show, I Am Alone. Unbeknownst to him, a deadly virus has taken over the nearby community of Montrose, CO where his crew Mason Riley (Gunner Wright) and Adam Levine (Rory Zacher) have set up to interview locals and capture additional footage. With day one coming to a close and Jacob settling in for the night, he is attacked and bitten by one of the infected and is forced to try and complete his journey and rendezvous with his team before he is overcome by the virus. As chaos spreads rapidly throughout the town, camera man Mason is taken into CDC custody where Dr. Marlow (Marshal Hilton) reviews his footage in the hope that they can discover why it took Jacob longer than everyone else to be consumed by the virus.

Gareth David-Lloyd has won several best actor awards for his portrayal of Jacob Fitts and rightfully so. His depiction of a man thrust into an unimaginable situation was both gripping and captivating; most notably while he was watching videos sent to him from his wife. His on screen presence is a refreshing addition to the independent film community.
The film also had solid performances by Wright, Zacher and Hilton.

Filmed mostly with GoPro cameras attached to the actors and surveillance footage, I Am Alone displays some remarkably good cinematography and clean shots. Working in conjunction with the real town of Montrose, CO and a large amount of locals who stepped up as extras didn't seem to intimidate director Robert A. Palmer one bit. With only a couple of short films on his resume, he seems to have delved into I Am Alone with steady feet to create an authentic and emotional film that captures the human side of a zombie apocalypse. Accompanied by a score that is reminiscent to that of 28 Days Later, the film manages to keep the pace fairly well.

However the film is not without it's flaws. Some of the dialogue becomes trite and watered down toward the end and the scenes inside the CDC bunker, while relevant to story progression, are distracting and a bit intrusive at times. Also, the main point of the film being the evolution of the virus within Fitts is hard to comprehend when the viewer isn't given information on how long it took to overtake everyone else (unless I missed it). Nevertheless, I Am Alone is most definitely worth a watch, especially by those who are fans of the zombie and found footage sub genres.

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