Directed by: Jeff Renfroe
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton, Kevin Zegers
Neoli’s Review: I’m sure The Colony, the zombie horror film starring Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton, is nice and all, but the thing is I saw the trailer to World War Z weeks earlier (very nice), which clearly trumps whatever icy post-apocalyptic confection The Colony has to offer.
That said, I watched The Colony with all expectations brought down to zero. I was determined to enjoy the film and mine it for whatever scare thrills it can give me.
Set in the year 2045, at a time when that much ignored global warming phenomenon has finally caught up with us, The Colony follows the lives of the last surviving humans, now living in underground bunkers, tucked away from the extreme cold aboveground. Laurence Fishburne, playing Briggs, pensively leads this group of people, but I can’t help revert to his Morpheus persona from time to time. Meanwhile, Bill Paxton plays the bitter, scheming Mason, the second-in-command.
There’s a nice contrast between the bunkers and the open spaces above—it’s claustrophobic down there, with nothing but hydrophonic plants, honey, and rabbit for menu, while aboveground it’s freezing, futile desolate, and just as depressing. The whole setup reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, a novel about the apocalypse too, but sans the ice. (Speaking of ice, The Colony effectively made me chilly while watching it, so kudos to the people who made those icy landscapes possible.)
Anyway, the group receives a distress call from one of the other colonies, and Brigs, being the compassionate leader that he is, assembles his men so they can pay the bunker in question a visit. Yes, they trekked across all that ice with an honest-to-goodness intention of helping out, because if they didn’t, then the plot wouldn’t thicken. There, they find the colony now infested with cannibalistic zombies.
I won’t delve into the zombies of this film anymore. We already have too many zombie films just for the first half of 2013—there’s Warm Bodies (which at least inventively uses the point of view of a zombie character) and World War Z (which comes out in June and stars Brad Pitt, and still remains to be seen if it’s a good film at all, but we all know Brad Pitt associates himself only with good projects). Ever since George Romero thrilled us with his Dawn of the Dead, we’ve been fascinated with zombies—(in fact, there’s a new zombie-themed game app cropping up in Android every week). Zombies intrigue us because we can’t wrap our head around the concept of someone simultaneously alive and undead. It’s a thin line that’s best not messed with.
And yet the bottom line of all this zombification is how the rest of the surviving humans will fare and how they will cling on to their own humanity. With The Colony sadly, I learned absolutely nothing new about the human condition.