A found footage movie, funded by Kickstarter. Dr. Marlow, a scientist at a research facility, has captured Mason, the lone surviving crew member from a reality TV show about (appropriately enough) survival. Like roughly 60% of the population, the host of the show, Jacob, was bitten and infected with a zombifying virus. Unlike the others however, he was able to fight off the infection for days. Marlow thus suspects that an antidote may be in Jacob’s blood. Mason (and the viewer) is forced to watch Jacob’s footage of the last few days cobbled together with his own to see if he can provide any clues.
It’s an original premise. In keeping with recent tradition, the characters refrain from using the word zombie (calling them “infected” instead), and the zombie extras could have shambled in from any zombie movie or episode of The Walking Dead, but overall it doesn’t feel like any old zombie movie. The characters seem like real people (using actors who look like real people helps). They’re tough but flawed and compelling. The performances are good; I was especially moved by Jacob’s last few minutes before he turns feral.
The film has a purveying sense of hope and optimism. The human spirit and the will to survive is explored in depth. As Jacob says while filming his show, “The world’s not such a scary place.” Yet, as the title suggests, at the same time there’s an oppressive feeling of isolation. There are few people in the movie, and most of the scenes revolve around people alone, like Jacob, or with only two people, like Marlow and Mason. The zombies themselves travel in groups, but they’re only out for themselves and don’t connect on an intimate level.
It looks pretty low-budget, but not painfully so. The inside sets are great, and the nature scenes are pretty. The makeup and fake blood are less realistic than I’ve come to expect from indie horror movies, but it’s not bad overall. Importantly for a found footage movie, the filmmakers do a fairly good job of establishing reasons for characters to keep rolling cameras even while in danger, but some instances made me wonder who was filming—who has a camera in their barn? I was impressed though, and I recommend it to anyone except those who get motion sickness while watching found footage movies—these guys have helmet cameras and cameras on a wand thingie, and it’s very disorienting at times because the angles are weird—these tend to get used a lot. Otherwise, check it out.