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Review: 'Alone' a Zombie Thriller with Brains, Heart

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Oct 16, 2020

Some of you might be familiar with the Korean zombie movie "#Alive" that was a hit on Netflix recently. The story of a guy trapped in his apartment during a zombie takeover was in the streaming service's Top Ten for a few weeks.

"Alone" is the American version. But before you think, "Oh, God, why does the U.S. have to remake everything?" both films were/are being released in the same year, and both are credited to the same screenwriter (Matt Naylor).

The film has a simple premise that has been covered in other films here and abroad: isolated young guy Aidan ("Teen Wolf's" Tyler Posey) wakes up to a global pandemic that turns ordinary people into muttering, violent, virus-carrying flesh eaters. Unable to leave his upper-floor apartment, he eventually spots the beautiful Eva (Summer Spiro) living in an apartment across the courtyard one floor down. As danger draws near to her, and with supplies dwindling for both, Aidan makes a desperate plan to get to her.

While it sounds fairly "been there, done that," the fact is that it's not only done well, but the story focuses more on the characters and their developing bond than on the zombie gore and action. Oh, it's there, and it's pretty suspenseful, but this film is first and foremost a human story, and that's what makes wholly engrossing.

Posey is a strong lead here. Eschewing his "teen" image from his CW years, he's now a slender, ripped, tatted-up, bearded hottie with a heart of gold. It certainly doesn't hurt that director Johnny Martin does not shy away from showing off Posey's body not once, but twice. It's important to note that the female lead isn't required to show any skin, and that's a wonderful change of pace. (Not to mention, Posey is nice eye-candy!)

Both Posey and Spiro make for a charming duo, even though they spend the movie mostly apart. This is also another thing to credit Martin with, as he creates characters who spend the entire movie solo, but he's able to give them chemistry and make them people we care about.

Dependable Donald Sutherland shows up as a helpful neighbor, and his star power elevates the film, but the fact of the matter is that this is Posey's movie all the way, and he is pretty terrific. (Coincidentally, this film and Posey's "Teen Wolf" co-star Dylan O'Brien's "Love & Monsters," another sci-fi/horror thriller, also opens Oct. 16.)

The action sequences are intense and nimble, and while "#Alive" made the action more extreme, here it's more realistic while also being nail-biting. Moreover, this is a film that doesn't leave you with any easy answers. The film is about the two leads coming together, and whether they do or not is a question left for the ending. As for the zombie apocalypse? Time will tell. Perhaps there will a sequel: "More Alone?"

"Alone" premiers On Demand October 16th, and will be available on Blu-ray/DVD on October 20th.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.

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