The Colony

2014-05-02 10:36
What it's about:

After a second ice age devastated the earth, humanity took to living in underground bunkers called colonies. When Colony 7 receives a distress call from Colony 5, their leader heads up an expedition to investigate. What awaits them, however, is something far more sinister and deadly than they could ever have imagined.

What we thought:

The Colony is yet another of those D-grade, direct-to-video turkeys that have somehow managed to get a cinematic release in this country, while, of course, some genuinely good films are left out in the cold to make their way through select video stores and movie festivals. That this direct-to-video turkey was also released in cinemas State-side doesn't change how unwelcome it is.

Straight off the bat, though the movie gets more and more insufferable as it goes along, the Colony starts off pretty badly, as it wears its obvious influences on its sleeve and steadfastly refuses to do anything even remotely interesting with them. As it goes along, it evokes and outright steals from more classic science fiction and horror novels, movies and TV shows than is possible to count. Hugh Howey's Wool novels are the first and most obvious similarity but by the end, the Colony pilfers freely from The Thing, Serenity/ Firefly, I Am Legend and just about any other apocalyptic story you could think of.

But its serious lack of originality is only the first of The Colony's many, many crimes. It's incredibly stupid (apparently being a cannibal makes you super strong – oops, spoiled it, now you don't have to see it - don't worry, thank me later) and ceaselessly boring, for a start. Like all the best b-movies, it's very short as it barely clocks in at ninety minutes but quite unlike the best b-movies, those ninety minutes feel like a lifetime.

Whether it's supposed to be a thriller or a horror flick, it's neither remotely thrilling, nor in any way scary. That it's unoriginal is one thing, but this sort of thing should at least provide a few thrills and spills to go with its trashiness but it not only fails to engage, let alone grip, its incredibly serious, utterly humourless tone makes it impossible to enjoy on even that most embarrassingly humble of levels. The best crappy horror flicks are so bad, they're good – this is so bad, it's simply terrible.

It isn't even helped by a cast that includes at least two relatively respected actors in the form of Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton. Both actors look embarrassed all the way through, never bothering to rise above the rest of a supremely wooden cast. But then, the characters themselves are so woefully underdeveloped, no one in the cast is given very much to work with in the first place. Also, while Paxton could have had some fun with his villainous role, he clearly couldn't be bothered enough to even do that.

Director Jeff Renfroe has spent his career making made-for-TV movies and low budget action thrillers so it's no wonder that the action and cinematography feel so resolutely un-cinematic but it is surprising how blandly Hollywood-ized The Colony is. However much I do appreciate that he's clearly employing physical effects rather than CGI (the bane of many a modern horror film), where is the energy, edginess or basic entertainment to go with it? This is small-budgeted, indie-horror so why does it feel so very, very corporate?

Obviously, it's not worth a trip to the cinema and you really don't need to bother paying to watch it on DVD/ BluRay but when it hits late night TV in what is undoubtedly going to be no time at all, it should at least act as the perfect cure for chronic insomnia.

Another terrible horror film has somehow found its way into our cinemas. Avoid. Obviously.
Read more on:    laurence fishburne  |  movies

Vague 2014/05/06 09:22
Im not sure where the writer of this column stands. He didnt really give his opinion if it was good or bad. Why be so vague?? I personally thought this to be one of the foremost gripping horror movies in our time. The use of physical horror cinema was extraordinary! Please anyone who is reading this! do yourself a favour and watch this movie!!! it is mind blowing. I still get shivers when i think of Bill Paxtons performance. Makes my outie tingle!
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