Reviewed by Movie Moxie’s Alicia Glass
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Jeff Renfroe
Review Rating: 7
In a post-apocalyptic ice age, the last remnants of humanity struggle to survive in underground colonies, when a threat potentially more dangerous than the environment emerges.
I saw an advertisement for The Colony on Directv I think it was, and all I could think of was Laurence Fishburne fighting off 30 Days of Night-style vampires, okay cool. I am sorry to say that isn’t the case, though the makeup used for the bad guys is reminiscent of Ghosts of Mars and is therefore no bad thing. What we have here instead is an odd mish-mash of Sci-Fi and Horror sensibilities.
Humanity screwed itself when we made weather modifiers that basically caused the next ice age on our planet; everyone has had to go literally underground and preserve our way of life however we can; all this, just going through the motions of existing and not living, is very end of the world despair could be both genres. Our fearless, if tired, leader Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) struggles to keep everyone alive in his colony despite opposition from his second Mason (Bill Paxton), who wants to do away with the sick before they can infect the colony. Briggs does his best to hold things together, while our narrator Sam (Kevin Zegers) talks about the colony carefully and lovingly preserving all the seeds they can. The sun won’t always be covered, right? Just when there’s soon to be a mutiny over the leadership of this colony and the way they deal with their sicklings, a distress call comes in from another colony that our heroes have an alliance with. Of course Briggs and Sam and others have to go check it out, but not before dubiously leaving Mason in charge. Then it’s make the arduous journey in the ice and snow, skirting dead bodies and what once was vast cities full of teeming people. Only to discover that their ally colony has been overrun with cannibals. And apparently these aren’t ordinary cannibals, oh no. Increases in speed and agility, with a healthy dose of savage butchery, and perhaps a full-mouth filing in there, give us monsters. No vampires, I don’t think they’re supposed to be zombies, nothing supernatural about it as far as I can tell. Bummer.
Still, the cannibal monsters seem intent on hunting Briggs and Sam all the freaking way back to their own colony. Even after a fairly nifty blowing up a bridge scene, man those cannibals are determined. Only our narrator Sam is left, to get back to his own colony with the stunning news of found sun, if only we could get seeds to them. Nevermind the cannibal monsters that are surely headed this way, or the pigheaded Second who wants to militarize the entire colony; a backpack of carefully preserved seeds, coordinates, a girlfriend and a dream, is all we need. The ending leaves a lot of holes open for a sequel, though how successful such a thing would be without Fishburne or the same director, remains to be seen. For a small-screen release, Renfroe tried so very hard to give us epic-osity inside the movie. For all it’s issues: the middle story needs fleshing, embellish both genres a bit, the soundtrack could be better, etc, the film is still a nice little offering. Like Event Horizon, Fishburne lends his commanding presence in every film he does, big or small, heard-of or not. Like his other marine roles, Paxton gives forth a straining-to-be-unleashed performance that helps unbalance Briggs; the two work well opposite eachother. Even cannibal monsters aren’t afraid of sunlight or plants growing as far as I know, so who knows, there may be a sequel in the works. The Colony is a Canadian release that went straight to DVD and Blu-Ray, first in Canada in August 2013, and for the U.S., October of the same year.