Monday, 20 January 2014

The Colony (2013)

Standard survival horror set on an Earth that has suffered through a second ice age, The Colony is an enjoyable, if unspectacular, experience that's lifted above the level of average by some decent production values and some decent actors in the lead roles.

Laurence Fishburne plays Briggs, the leader of the titular colony. He's a fair man, and young Sam (Kevin Zegers) looks up to him. Unfortunately, the colony also has Mason (Bill Paxton), a man tasked with taking those who become ill out into the cold and offering them the chance to walk away or be shot. Well, he SHOULD be offering them a choice, but he's started skipping that part and shooting anyone succumbing to illness. Briggs and Sam decide that they must travel to a neighbouring colony when a distress signal is picked up, despite the protests from Mason, and they head out, with a young man named Graydon (Atticus Dean MItchell) accompanying them. What they end up finding in the other colony is something unexpected, something dangerous, and something that could ultimately end up making it difficult for the main characters to return to their own home.

Four people wrote this screenplay. Four! It was based on a story, or story idea, by Pascal Trottier and Patrick Tarr, who then wrote the movie with input from Svet Rouskov and director Jeff Renfroe.And none of those four people could come up with one original idea to mix into the script, sadly.

Luckily, Renfroe is competent enough in the director's chair, and the main cast members all do a good job. Zegers is just fine, Charlotte Sullivan is okay as the girl he likes, and Fishburne and Paxton both easily dominate any scene that they're in, in a good way.

The effects are good, but they don't make up for the lack of any effective chills and thrills. In fact, as things develop in the second half of the movie it all becomes a bit tiresome when it should be ratcheting up the tension.

Not a terrible film to waste some time on, but you'd do much better to just rewatch Pandorum instead (which is all I kept thinking about while this was on).


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