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“Alive” is (yet) another zombie apocalypse movie that draws inspiration from “28 days Later”, but is it able to stand on its own merits?


ALIVE lands on digital on January 31st from Gravitas Pictures. Read on to find out if you should Rent it, Stream it, or Skip it.

Ah, the good old infected. Are they Zombies or something else? That is a discussion for another time. But, because they are named so, we will accept it for now.

Alive is a British-made feature that draws heavily on 28 Days Later amongst the usual end-of-the-world genre fare that is continually leaned on for influence.

Alive was filmed on what appears to be a low budget and, in some ways, reminds me of how Dr. Who used to look like before its rerelease back in 2005. Knowing its limitations means that the filmmakers will have to work harder to get you more invested in the story, the characters, and ultimately what happens to them.

It opens at a fertility clinic where a doctor delivers bad news. We cut between that, a news reader informing us of an infection that is under control, a classroom where the teacher is scolded for not talking to her pupils about containment of potentially infected, and a Reverend and his congregation.

We meet Dan, who is in the process of fortifying his countryside home against the coming threat. It’s clear this will become one of the critical locations later in the film.

No time stamp follows, but you are left to assume that some time has elapsed when we meet Helen, her brother, and the rest of the group as they are trying to escape the infected and make their way to a safe zone that has been broadcasting its location.

The film establishes early on that Barney has been infected and is slowly turning, which adds to their dynamic as Ellen strives to keep them alive.

A member of their party, the teacher, splits from the group to aid their escape. She is never seen again, and her fate remains unknown.

Meanwhile, Dan is living out the apocalypse by using the land around his home.


He hunts and tries to steer clear of everyone to live his remaining days and care for someone who is chained up in his attic.

The two groups finally meet, and Dan allows them to take refuge while telling them to stay away from the attic. Dan also realizes that Barney is infected and, in a surprising turn, shows tenderness and compassion because of his age. Obviously, the GPS they are using needs power, and Dan points out that the local school has a generator that will supply this.

This brings the group into the circle of other survivors who don’t have their best interests at heart.

The school is where Father Albert has holed up with his flock, and he welcomes Ellen and co with open arms and smiles, This, of course, is an absolute giveaway that he is of questionable character.

Father Albert, played with a mixture of joy and top-level slime by Stuart Matthews, exudes the right level of zeal as their real intentions are revealed.

This leads to our final act, where all converge on the home, and each strand pulls together while we get a final reveal.

Ultimately the lack of budget means there is a lack of action, and the first third just seems to drag along.


The two threads slowly bind together, but the trouble is that having worn their influences so keenly, you can see what will happen next with varying levels of success.

One of the problems is that once they got to the house, you knew that something would have to happen to them to be put back in harm’s way. They left the best part ‘til last. This is where the film finally comes into its own, and the right people meet their just desserts.

This is not to say it is a bad film.

Ellen quietly develops into the final girl you expect from these kinds of films. Her love for her brother and efforts to keep him safe even though he is infected seem genuine and believable.

It does have a decent ending, which goes for something different and succeeds in doing that, but the lack of action does not do it any favors at all. With a bit bigger budget, I think this film could have been elevated immensely. Ultimately, however, it ends up being just mediocre.

STREAM IT. I think that Alive could easily hold its own against some of the films that are shown on B-movie channels such as SY-FY or the UK’s Legend channel. It plays to its strengths without resorting to poor CGI. While it may not be one you want to run out and rent, keep an eye out for when this film lands on a free streaming platform.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3

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