Children have to fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic future where the living is becoming a minority, as a deadly virus travels through the air. A lonely child, Camille, manages to find a few other kids to stay close to and together they try to reach the one place her mother told her to go to.
It struck me early on what potential "Solos" had. Taking the zombie genre and just switching lead adults with lead children might not seem like a big change on paper but it's a change that is bound to give off an entirely different vibe. It takes you out of a safe zone, and it's also a step closer to being controversial (like if we're about to see a child kill zombies). On one end, "Solos" doesn't fall into the category of independent films that felt silly because it had child actors that couldn't act. But at the same time it doesn't really do anything interesting with the idea either.
There really isn't much to go into with the plot. It's about a young girl, Camille, who found out that she's immune to a virus that is spreading. She loses her mother in the process and is alone in trying to survive the zombie outbreak caused by the virus. She eventually finds a few other kids to group with, and.. that's about it. We have flashbacks of how she lost her mother and all that, which is where most of the plot is revealed. The present is mostly her and other kids walking around in a deserted world. Their biggest threat isn't the zombies, but the government.
For the most part the movie remains bland and boring - the kind that you can't be bothered to hate. But in the very end it takes a few turns that just made me want to take the disc out of the player and piss on it. It really fucked itself there. Even though we didn't have a great film to begin with, at least it was watchable. But then it throws in a shitty fucking creature, executed with shitty fucking effects, in a shitty fucking plot twist. Of sorts. I don't know what the fuck it was, actually. Jorge Olguín & Carolina García, what the hell happened? Did you realize you wouldn't be able to save the film from medicrity so you figured it was better to turn it into a SyFy Channel-type film for a few seconds before ending it? Thanks for throwing a bucket of shit over the audience.
Wait, was that too harsh? It could be. I couldn't pay attention halfway through, but even if the twist itself had made sense, the lame effects made it really fucking bad. I know I would've reconsidered even going that route if the effects were to end up like that. Being a zombie film, I'm sure you wonder about the other effects; gore and make-up. It's okay. Much better than the CGI dribble at the end. But there is still some CGI thrown into the other SPFX too. Just not as bad. The film also has a peculiar look to it. Very saturated but with a red sky. It looks pretty poor, to be honest. Smudgy, blurry, and very obviously an added layer. The flashbacks separate themselves a bit, carrying a green filter instead. I think that one worked better.
One thing that I will credit the film for is that the child actors actually did a rather good job. They're not really expressing a lot of feelings through gestures and whatnot, but they manage to maintain the serious tone of the film. It never becomes a kindergarten, which I have seen independent films with child actors fall into before. So that's definitely something it should be proud of - it's not an easy feat! I would also have wanted this to be in Spanish and not English. Although the English isn't terrible, I just happen to enjoy South American flicks enough to want them in their language.
"Solos" might be Chile's first zombie film (I don't know if that's a fact or not, but it's promoted as such) but they definitely need a better one to be proud. This isn't a film I would recommend, there are way more exciting films from that part of the world. But it is still nice to see them trying the horror genre more. "Solos" isn't strictly a bad movie, except for the ending, but it's extremely boring and rarely manages to excite or entertain the viewer. The finale sucked ass, but the idea could've worked if they spoon fed us portions of it throughout. And excluded the terrible creature effect.