You Are Not Alone Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by 101 Films
Written and Directed by Mark Ezra
2010, 84 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 21st July 2014
Nathan Nolan as Matt Powsey
Evie Brodie as Ginny Baker
Simon Dutton as Jack Wilson
Louise Houghton as Maggie Wilson
Another day, another cheap found footage horror movie from 101 Films with a heavily photoshopped picture of a house on the cover. In this case, a house swap turns bad when a young couple from California switch places with a pair of Brits, netting themselves a massive Tudor mansion near Glastonbury in the exchange. Sounds too good to be true (horrible overpriced music festival and crappy British weather aside), right? It certainly is, and it’s not long before things start going ‘bump’ in the night.
The words ‘low budget’, ‘true story’ and ‘found footage’ don’t do much to inspire confidence, but I was willing to give You Are Not Alone a chance. After all, some of the best horror movies are those which come with a hackneyed premise but manage to do something new and interesting with it. Sadly, this derivative, dull no-budget nonsense is not one of them.
Over the course of its relatively short running time, it does nothing viewers won’t have seen before, from cheap jump scares to lengthy scenes of bickering between our lead couple, disbelieving, dismissive local coppers and an utter reluctance by our dim-witted protagonists to leave their home even when it becomes too obviously dangerous for them to stay. It’s yet another found footage film which doesn’t even attempt to justify its characters recording everything they do – to the point where they’re documenting their own boring bickering – and ends at exactly the moment where the film gets interesting. For all of the format’s merits (and there are several) the found footage subgenre is unique in that a lot of its proponents feel it to be entirely acceptable to climax where most stories would be just getting started. It flies in the face of the beginning/middle/end structure of conventional storytelling. Sure, there’s a place for that in arthouse movies and even some horror, but You Are Not Alone isn’t a finished film – it’s all beginning and no middle or end.
This isn’t even the worst of its kind. The actors do well with what they’re given, and its villain looks the part, in a The Collector kind of way (not the butterfly collector, the other one). Its location is interesting too, as is the home invasion aspect. We’ve yet to see a good home invasion found footage film, so it’s not as if there wasn’t room for You Are Not Alone to do something worth seeing. The bare bones of an interesting story are wasted by the lack of interest in exploring anything beyond the typical tepid trickery of a subgenre long past its time.
Like its protagonists, this film is far from alone. Indeed, take a gander through the horror section of your local movie emporium or online shop and you’ll see dozens like it. If anything, you are severely overcrowded.