When the next ice age hit Earth, those who survived were forced underground. The inhabitants of Colony 7 struggle to survive below the frozen surface. Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) leads a dangerous mission to another known settlement after communication is abruptly cut off. As he leads a small team across the frozen waste lands to discover why no one answers anymore, they soon realise that nature isn’t their only worry. Above and below ground they must fight to save themselves and their fellow colonists against a new form of killer. Could this be humanity’s last stand?
The Colony seems to want to mark itself as a horror film, when in fact it’s more of a look at a dystopian society in the future. Maybe a re-think in terms of genre could have helped this film more. What starts off as a rather interesting idea soon caves way into a clichéd riddled film. That’s not to say it’s the worst film around, in fact it has some very good ideas.
The opening third of the film paints a very interesting picture of what could happen if a new ice age ever happened, it’s filled with oppressive and bleak atmosphere in amongst the underground lairs. But even the journey to the surface, whilst bright and picture-esque, is still an interminable lack of hope for all who reside underground. External shots are all CGI-heavy and look all the worse for it, with only the bridge scene looking close to resembling a proper outside set. Whilst this is used as a key component in the film, once it’s had its use we never see or hear about what happened there again.
From the half hour mark in, the film starts to deteriorate into the same usual clichéd dialogue and action that we see in most low budget horror/action films. There is a lot of running and jumping and screaming and shouting, all with little effect and all of it shot in the same few hundred yards of tunnels that are meant to be new areas of the underground mines. When in fact we have seen the same chains and pipes several times but from different angles – it’s the Scooby-Doo factor in play.Regardless of it being low budget, the CGI looks to be about ten years out of date and horribly over-produced.
Laurence Fishburne plays it by the numbers and it’s an average performance. But that feels more down to the corny dialogue and woeful action. Bill Paxton shows up every so often for virtually the same scene, with his talents clearly wasted in a role that requires nothing. Kevin Zegers is the handsome hero, but who is his character truly aimed at?
The Colony has so much going for it during the initial third of the film, but it gives way to a horror angle we have seen a million times before, and with much better dialogue. The Colony is a dystopian film that throws the end of the world out of the window for a by the numbers, and not so gruesome, survival movie.