A zombie based found footage movie isn’t exactly something to get excited about in the modern day of horror. Originality in both the zombie & found footage sub-genres are at an all time low so anything above mediocre is worth shouting about. I Am Alone isn’t just above mediocrity, it’s a damn good zombie horror movie. In fact it’s one of the best modern zombie horrors. One that makes the found footage style work to create an enthralling & emotional watch.
Directed by Robert A. Palmer & also written by him & Michael A. Weiss, I Am Alone is a genuine surprise, the kind that is so welcome in horror.
The story surrounds the reality TV show, I Am Alone. Where the group are planning their next episode deep in the Colorado Rockies. The show stars Jacob Fitts (Gareth David-Lloyd) who will be left alone in the mountains for 7 days surviving on what he can scavenge. His producer, Adam (Rory Zacher) & cameraman Mason (Gunner Writh) will wait for him in the local town capturing footage & interviews.
Unfortunately for the group, a massive viral outbreak that transforms the towns residents into zombies occurs. Jacob, being alone in the wilderness is completely unaware of the chaos unfolding back in civilisation until he is attacked & bitten by a zombie.
Adam & Mason are forced to fend for themselves as the outbreak worsens. Mason is then eventually picked up by the CDC who have recovered Jacob’s footage. They have questions for Mason relating to Jacob’s footage & force Mason to watch it & relive the past few days. This footage, is what makes up a large portion of the movie.
Jacob, panicked & completely cut off slowly succumbs to the infection, something we as the viewer share in all its emotional & horrific glory. To say that Gareth David-Lloyd does an incredible job is an understatement, he is absolutely brilliant. We watch his resolve, his confidence & belief slowly ebb away as he gets sicker & sicker. His desperation to get out of the situation he is in, his feelings of abandonment & eventual transformation is gut-wrenching stuff.
Enough can’t be said about how well filmed I Am Alone is. The found-footage style actually enhances the believable nature of what is seen here. It’s not all hand-held equipment either, instead utilising body cameras so that the characters hands are free. The ‘point of view’ imagery then makes it feel like you’re a part of the events. Something most found-footage horrors completely fail at.
I Am Alone goes for an old school style of zombie. The head-down shambling horde that bear much resemblance to the classic Romero dead. Like all good zombie horrors, the scariness of the dead here isn’t their speed or aggression. It’s their constant & unrelenting need. They will keep coming as long as they can & in big groups. By keeping them at a distance any issues regarding make-up or effects are completely unnoticed.
Perhaps the best thing about I Am Alone though, the thing that really gets your attention & pulls at your heart, is the music. It genuinely evokes emotion as Jacob’s situation becomes worse & worse leading to a finale that is so well done that it will leave you agape.
I Am Alone isn’t just one of the finest modern day zombie horrors. It’s one the finest zombie horrors of the last couple of decades. Long after the credits have rolled you’ll be thinking about it. Reflecting on its story, it’s characters & what could happen next.
I Am Alone