May 19, 2016

Improt Review: You Are Not Alone (2016)

"One of the better micro-budgeted Indie flicks that we've seen in a while."
While sitting here putting this review together, I've been singing the chorus to Michael Jackson's You Are Not Alone in my head. Over, and frigging over again.

It's got nothing to do with the movie, obviously, but damn it if it didn't get subliminally wedged in the song lyrics part of my brain by its title.


Anyway, You Are Not Alone is a micro-budgeted Indie flick that offers up a nice twist on the usual Found Footage/POV flick, by actually showing us all of the action from behind someone's eyes. No cameras, no cellphones, no characters randomly filming things for ridiculous, frustrating reasons... just a day in the life of a girl and her friends as seen from the POV of the girl. If for no other reason, this movie gets our respect for doing away with those shitty, shitty Found Footage plot devices.

It's not a bad movie overall, either.

After graduating from College, Natalie is coming home to her small town for the 4th of July weekend to party with her friends. After all, she deserves it. From the start, we see things exclusively from behind Natalie's eyes: her meeting up with friends; eating; smoking weed; walking; riding a bike; watching fireworks; walking some more...

And that's the first 50 minutes of the movie.

Fear not though! There's also a killer on the loose in the small town, so once Natalie leaves a party alone, and right before midnight, you just know that the good stuff is about to jump off... which it does, in the form of a creepy dude chasing her around, and doing his best to stab her to death with a knife.

Intense POV terror ensues.

This is the first Horror movie that I've ever seen in which we don't get to see the main character, who in this case, is the film's Final Girl. Everything we see is from her perspective, and we catch no glimpses of her in mirrors, reflections, and there's no reveal of her face at the end, which we were kind of expecting.

That's kind of cool.

You Are Not Alone is a small Indie flick that was shot for about $20K, and looks like it cost 10 times that much, and maybe even more than that. It didn't look or feel cheap at all, the actors were all pretty solid in their roles, and the people behind the camera definitely knew what they were about. It may take a while to get going (a long while), but once it does, it's a pretty intense ride too, even if we do wish that intensity would have lasted a bit longer.

While the movie may be technically sound, the script isn't quite so sturdy. Not only did we have to sit through 50 minutes of talky character development (which was actually handled very well, it just went on forever) before "the good stuff" started, but there were a few plot points that just irked us.

  • There's a killer on the loose in a small town, and no one offers to give Natalie a ride home after a night of drinking? They let her walk?
  • When Natalie does make it home, all of the doors and windows in the big, dark house are unlocked... even though there's a killer on the loose.
  • When a creepy dude shows up at  midnight, and stares at her house from outside, she calls her friend instead of the Cops.. even though there's a killer on the loose!

I could go on about the shit in this movie that made no sense (like the way the neighbor acts when she goes to him for help, the knife on the leg, etc...), but that would be nitpicking. Suffice it to say that the script had some holes in it.

For being a Kickstarter-funded movie that was made on a budget of $20K, You Are Not Alone is one hell of an achievement. Script and pacing issues aside, this is a movie that doesn't feel like it was made on the cheap, and when the Horror of it all finally does kick in, it's pretty unrelenting until the end.

This one is definitely worth a look-see when you get the chance, just know that it's one of those slow build sort of affairs, and an effective one at that.


You Are Not Alone is on DVD now (in the UK), and should be hitting the U.S. sometime this summer.

The ladies of You Are not Alone.

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