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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.08.13] Canada post apocalyptic scifi thriller

The movies have already determined that when the apocalypse comes, it will very likely come in the form of an ice age. Humans will be unable to survive on the surface and as far as animals are concerned... let's just say we're probably going to be vegetarians. Until, that is, some idiot decides that eating human flesh is just as good as that old horse.

The Colony unfolds in a future where humanity's attempts to fix the environment with the help of fancy technology has failed. As the weather machines started to malfunction, it began to snow. It never stopped. Most people died but some bright and industrious individuals found shelter in underground bunkers. It's in one of these that we meet leader-in-training Sam (Kevin Zegers), the actual leader Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) and the hothead Mason (Bill Paxton) among a number of other survivors. When the colonists receive a distress signal from a nearby colony, Briggs sets off to investigate after all, with only a few hundred known survivors left, the last thing he wants is to limit the gene pool further and so he, Sam and another young man head out to investigate. Obviously this is a bad idea that will end in disaster.

If you've seen or read any PA survivalist stories you can pretty much guess where the story is headed and The Colony doesn't stray far from the handbook. The trio heads out to check on the other colony, arrive to discover that the colonist have been attacked and then they must return home to warn their own people while also trying to lose the creepy bad guys - it doesn't exactly take a genius to track footprints in the snow.

The plot is familiar but director Jeff Renfroe does a great job of keeping the story moving at a good pace and delivering intense, close quarter action sequences. Shot on location at the decommissioned NORAD base in North Bay, Ontario, Renfroe and cinematographer Pierre Gill make excellent use of their location. Mostly the spaces feel small and claustrophobic but there are few moments, including a few scenes towards the end of the movie when the compound is going up in flames, that it actually seems large and open and for a moment there's a real sense that the entire living world is housed in that underground bunker and as Sam watches it burn, there's a feeling that the end of humanity is that much closer.

Though Fishburne and Paxton are the heavyweights of the cast and a large part of the story is dependent on their strained relationship as military men who deserted their posts for the same reason but who have slowly drifted apart, the story relies heavily on Zegers as the new leader. The young actor has been cropping up in supporting roles for years and it's great to see him step into the spotlight. He's charismatic and though The Colony doesn't offer up much in the way of opportunity for subtlety, Zegers is likable and believable as the inexperienced-but-trying new leader.

In the end The Colony may not offer up a new vision of life after the apocalypse but it's entertaining and manages to look on the bright side of things. There's a feeling of hope as the final scene unfolds and as much as I love to see directors go all the way with their fatalistic view of humanity, it's nice to see something which is a little less of a downer. It's nice to think that when faced with probable death, humanity is a generally optimistic lot.

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Morrisminor (9 years ago) Reply

WTF! You just blew the ending without any spoiler warning!


Marina (9 years ago) Reply

Sincere apologies. Was missed during the edit. Has been fixed to avoid spoilers!


Fulpz (9 years ago) Reply

Where's the edit? It ruined it for me too!


tranzy (9 years ago) Reply

i regret reading this review .. too much exposure on the story and a BIG SPOILER about the end is there .. !!!


ignore me (9 years ago) Reply

Really, you all couldnt figure out how these post-apocaliptic movies work?.. after the first paragraph i figured it was a cliche story. smh, if this was a spoiler, consider it a favor.


Lov (9 years ago) Reply

This movie sucked so much, what the fck where you on while watching this?
" doesn't exactly take a genius to track footprints in the snow." I say it must take a genious to actually leave footprints in the snow for several hours when it constantly snowing like hell.
And yea the feeling of hope in the end? (SPOILER) A group of people packed only with some seeds and far from enough clothets are supposed to walk futher off then what they can see on their map, in the constant snowing. Yes very hopeful.. Stupid, enourmosly unintelligent movie this was. Such a waste of money, time and effort.

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