The Colony

Production Year: 2013
Release Date: 10/15/13
Studio: Image Entertainment

I'll be honest, I was not expecting much out of this film.  On the outside it looked like typical direct-to-video fare.  But I'm sure many of you know that saying about judging something by it's cover...

In The Colony a new ice age has ravaged most of the world.  The few survivors left are forced to live in underground bunkers and as you can probably imagine, life ain't too grand.  A new flu strain is slowly wiping out what's left of the population, so survivors are forced to take pretty drastic steps to thwart the bug.  If a simple quarantine doesn't work, anyone affected with the ailment can either choose between a bullet or life out in the bitter cold; so essentially your choices are between a fast death or a slow cold one.

The film is centered around a small colony led by Briggs (Laurence Fishburne,) and things aren't exactly running smoothly.  Mason (Bill Paxton) doesn't quite see eye to eye with Briggs.  Recently, to better enforce the quarantine rule Mason would rather shoot first and ask questions later.  Sam (Kevin Zegers) is a young up and comer who wants nothing more than to earn his keep, when the nearby Colony #5 is in distress he jumps at the chance to head out into the frozen tundra.

This is where the horror element seeps in.  Briggs and Sam head to the other outpost to find it completely deserted.  As they search the compound they find a very strange signal along with a group of ferocious cannibals (think 30 Days of Night meets The Hills Have Eyes) that have wiped out nearly every person in the colony.  I didn't read any synopsis of the film when I received it, so the horror twist was pretty surprising.  It felt like a mish-mash of two different scripts.

Typically with post-apocalyptic films the scope is pretty big and occasionally films of this nature have to rely on rich performances to get past a lower budget, that's not quite the case here.  While I've got no qualms with the acting, I have to say, I was a bit taken aback with the scenery.  The post production crew did a great job with the CGI that was used to take (an obvious) green screen and create such a vast, yet bleak-wintery world.  The acting for the most part is solid though there is some shlock along with a bit of clich├ęd dialogue here and there.  It also would have been nice if Paxton had more to do in this film, I feel that his role should have been larger.

While the flick has it's flaws I found it to be enjoyable B-entertainment.  It's not too often you find a smaller budgeted film that pulls of the post-apocalyptic "look" so well.

There's only one supplement to be found on the disc.

Behind the scenes featurette: This one is short and to the point, you've got interviews with Paxton, Fishburne, and a few others.  There is a bit of background on the production of the film which was nice.  It clocks in at just under ten minutes, disappointing as I'd have liked to see more.

 The film's premise is a strong one and I think the audience for this will be split between those who like the horror twist and those who hate it.  As I mentioned it really does feel like someone 'frankensteined' two scripts together.  While I don't mind the twist, it would have been interesting to see how this film played out sans the cannibalism.

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