09th Aug2014

‘You Are Not Alone’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Nathan Nolan, Evie Brodie, Simon Dutton, Louise Houghton, Seth Sinclair | Written and Directed by Mark Ezra

you-are-not-alone-cast

Here we go again. Another found footage movie. This time the premise steals heavily from the grand-daddy of found footage movies, Cannibal Holocaust, in so much that the film purportedly consists of ‘found’ material from the screen writer’s video diary which is viewed after the events… Yeah right.

Apparently based on a true story, You Are Not Alone (aka House Swap) sees a young California screenwriter and his composer girlfriend exchange their Echo Park home for a sprawling Tudor mansion near Glastonbury, England, in the hope of finding creative inspiration. Thinking they have the best of the bargain, they soon learn that the house comes with a stalker who seems able to enter through locked doors. Driven beyond endurance by the continual harassment, the screenwriter sets a trap to exact his revenge.

Disclaimer: I hate, no hate is too strong a word, I dislike found footage movies. Why? Because of movies like this. Movies that use the format as a lazy way of telling a story. Movies that use the format AS the story. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great found footage movies. There are some SUPERB ones too. You Are Not Alone is as far removed from even a good found footage movie as you can imagine.

As many reviewers will tell you, it really is hard to completely tear films apart in reviews. I try not to; and even in the cases where a film is bad I often try to find even a small glimmer of good. Maybe a performance that stood out, maybe a plot twist, maybe even a decent soundtrack or good editing. Despite my best efforts I could find no such thing here. In all honesty, You Are Not Alone is the one of very rare (and I mean once in five years rare) occasions where I have used the fast forward button to skip scenes, and even entire chapters. There’s a reason this film, which was originally released in 2010, took four years to see the light of day here in the UK.

Watching You Are Not Alone I could help but feel sorry for the guys at 101 Films. The small indie label has released some superb straight to DVD horror titles such as The Pit (aka Jugface), The Attic, Heretic, The Tenant and The Lodge. Then they go and release this. It’s hard, as a fan of the label, to recommend people check out what movies 101 Films are releasing when low-rent, barrel-scraping genre fare like this are mixed in with their output.

Hard to believe this film comes from the same Mark Ezra that wrote and directed the cheesy, but fun, 1986 slasher Slaughter HighYou Are Not Alone? More like you should leave it alone.

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One Response to “‘You Are Not Alone’ Review”

  • Kate O Reilly

    What I don’t understand is how this film was ever released? Did nobody at 101 films actually watch this?? It was so bad I returned it to the shop I bought it from and didn’t even care that they didn’t give me a refund because the product had been used.