I don’t know about you, but I always get an uneasy feeling when a film arrives billed as ‘(insert movie title here) meets (insert movie title here)’.

It smacks of desperation in my book, a bid to get viewers to take the time to watch this latest effort by linking it to a more well-known, and usually more successful, set of predecessors.

So alarm bells were well and truly ringing when The Colony arrived at our office, complete with press blurb claiming it to be ‘The Thing meets 28 Days Later’.

In truth, the film really does turn out to be a mix of those listed above, with a bit of 30 Days Of Night thrown in for good measure.

And it’s actually not that bad a flick – nothing special or memorable, but an enjoyable enough watch.

The Colony has certainly attracted a decent cast for a straight-to-DVD effort, with the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton and Kevin Zegers involved.

Fishburne unsurprisingly gets the chief billing on the sleeve, but it is Zegers who is very much star of the show.

Set not too far in the future, Earth has been crippled by a new ice age, forcing those that survived underground into cramped living areas known as colonies.

These colonies are still able to communicate with each other through satellite communications, but the alarm is raised at one (populated by the likes of Fishburne, Paxton and Zegers) when their neighbouring colony sends out an SOS, followed by days of radio silence.

Fishburne and co decide to investigate, but they get a whole lot more than they bargained for when, upon arrival, they realise that the bulk of the colony’s population appears to have turned into raging cannibals, chowing down on the rest of their folk.

As to why, well this is never really explained, and there is no real explanation offered as to what they are – cannibals, zombies or what, but they do appear to have sharpened teeth/fangs for some reason.

From then on it is a chase flick, first through dark corridors and then across snow-covered landscapes as the ‘good guys’ attempt to escape from the ‘bad guys’ and make it back to their own colony.

Fishburne becomes a bit of a peripheral character at this point with Zegers taking over, and he does a pretty good job, mixing vulnerability and hard-ass to good effect (as he did back in the 2004 Dawn Of The Dead remake).

Paxton pops up as a trigger-happy colonist who threatens to disrupt the fragile peace back at camp, while there is solid support from Charlotte Sullivan as Kai.

Director Jeff Renfroe, mostly known for TV work, does a good job orchestrating some exciting action scenes and boy are there a lot of them, from fistfights to gun battles to gory decapitations.

In fact, if you are in the mood for some bloodshed then The Colony will probably do the job – you don’t have to think too much and there are a fair few thrills.

But the whole thing is just too forgettable to get anything more than a lukewarm thumbs up.

EXTRAS:  Behind the scenes featurette

VERDICT: [rating=3]

 

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.