By Dave B.
The Colony (2013, currently on Hulu) takes place nearly two decades after attempts to geoengineer away the problem of climate change has rendered the Earth nearly uninhabitable. Constant snow and arctic temperatures have forced humanity’s few remaining survivors to live in underground colonies. When one of the colonies transmits an ominous SOS, its nearest neighbor sends out a rescue party. But their attempt to be a good neighbor brings mortal danger to their doorstep and forces the austerity induced tensions within their compound to come to a head.
Watching The Colony seemed appropriate considering the arctic horror that much of the country has lived through the past couple of days. However, as I’ve learned to my chagrin, many things that seem like a good idea at the time often aren’t. I’ve watched a lot of movies over the past 11 months since I started this blog, and The Colony is perhaps the most disappointing of them all. Not because it’s the worst movie I’ve seen (that honor now and forever belongs to Bokeh). It’s because The Colony starts out with a startling amount of promise. The first half of the 95 minute film is brimming with tension and buttressed with fairly strong performances by the likes of Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton. The Colony could have gone in many different directions that would have provided viewers with a compelling mystery, decent action, and interesting characters.
Instead, once the “mystery” in The Colony is revealed halfway through, the film quickly devolves into a cheap, mindless, lazy horror/action flick that is completely predictable and an utter waste of time. The effort that went into world-building and character development in the first half of the movie is forgotten entirely in a fruitless quest to make the low-budget film into an action blockbuster.
The Colony turns from being potentially interesting to an unmitigated failure in the span of about five minutes in the middle of the movie. It’s one of the most abrupt declines in quality that I’ve ever experienced in any product or service in my life. I’m definitely not recommending this film, but my score for it will seem a bit higher than it deserves, simply because I can’t ignore the fact that the first half of it didn’t suck. That said, The Colony is a hard pass. Don’t waste your time on it.
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