In writer and director Jeff Renfroe’s post-Armageddon Sci-Horror The Colony set in 2045 we have managed to destroy the world in an attempt to save it from ourselves. After building giant weather controlling machines to bring global warming to an end mankind ironically brought about a new ice age forcing people underground to escape the deadly blizzards that ragged across the earth.
As always however as human’s our greatest enemy is ultimately ourselves and having lasted many years isolated the self-contained Colony 7 is in danger of imploding with fractions forming amongst the survivors both sides lead by very different men with very different views on how to carry on.
On one side stands the level headed Briggs, played by legendary Laurence Fishburne, a voice of reason and calm in the intense cold. On the other is the aggressive and angry Mason, played by underrated genre actor Bill Paxton, who believes a harder more totalitarian line should be taken in running the shelter.
Kept in check by Briggs popularity Mason gets his chance to revolt when the fearless leader takes a team including young idealist Sam (Mortal Instruments and Dawn of the Dead remake star Kevin Zegers) to respond to a distress call from a neighboring bunker.
Heading out into the horrifying bleak landscape with its snow covered cities and the remains of our long gone mundane existence the team battle the elements only to find a much more terrifying enemy at the other end.
Covered in blood stains the empty shelter has been attacked by a group of cannibals who have abandoned their humanity to feed their hunger with the flesh of anyone they come in contact with.
Briggs and Sam are faced with feral brutalism and must battle with everything they have to save themselves from being consumed by survivors just like them who have succumb to the dark side of desperation.
Packed with great performances especially from Fishburne and Paxton alongside some stunning sets and special effects in creating the frozen apocalyptic wasteland The Colony’s failing is the cliché ridden cannibals that pop up halfway through with seemingly no other purpose but to create some exciting gore filled action.
Looking like rejects from 30 Days of Night their Goth styling’s, animalistic grunting and martial arts skills are so annoyingly familiar from a million horror’s gone by yet irritatingly jarring within this well thought out and carefully crafted narrative that they devalue an otherwise solid Sci-Horror.
It is a pity that Renfroe felt the need to put them in and couldn’t have stuck with the principle social conflict within the colony played out in the first few scenes by the excellent central actors where survival is everything and even a common cold can kill. This fact leads to the tough and terrible decisions being made sacrificing the few for the many a task Briggs abhors but Mason revels in doing setting up a great structure for drama and action all within the walls of the colony.
This would have taken the movie down the same dark and disturbing post-apocalyptic path as Xavier Gens The Divide where the trapped characters become grotesque soulless parodies of themselves performing unspeakable acts brought on more from boredom than anything else distressingly effectively detailing the fragility of humanity and how easy it is to abandon.
Frustratingly there is a good story hiding somewhere in the snow within The Colony but by Renfroe trying to give us two films in one, half intellectual social exploration and half all action horror both hammering home the same unsubtle point the result is one unsatisfying mess that leaves the audience like the main characters ultimately left out in the cold.