Helen navigates a ravaged world with her boyfriend Kevin and her little brother Barney. Desperate to find help after Barney’s infection slowly turns him into a zombie, they come upon a house where lives Dan, a man harboring a heavy secret.
The film has a very BBC look to it. It is difficult, beyond the appearance of a smartphone, to tell what year the film occurs. A mix of religion, politics, and pure survival mode mix to keep the audience engaged in the narrative. The sound editing by Rob Pepper, especially the creepy sound of the virus progressively infecting young Barney, made my skin crawl.
Although the zombie makeup is not great, costumes and general makeup are thoughtfully aged and disheveled. Something that is usually a sticking point in low-budget apocalyptic films. I was equally impressed with the locations. It appears the filmmakers had a lot of options, and they used them to their advantage. Performances are strong all around. A large ancillary and featured extra cast makes for a more impressive final product.
While the drama is a touch overplayed, perhaps akin to a Lifetime drama hokeyness, that does not lessen the intriguing arc in a genre that is tricky to conquer with new ideas. So while we’ve seen the sentimental attachment aspect in the past, the surprising plot point surrounding the very badass Ellen Hillman was phenomenal. Alive‘s final reveal garnered an honest, approving nod from me. I applaud the passion and commitment of writer-director David Marantz. It undoubtedly has an audience.
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