Made in 2013, The Colony is a Canadian movie that, when all is said and done, is pretty good. The film stars Lawrence Fishburne (Briggs), Bill Paxton (Mason) and Kevin Zegers (Sam). The latter took on the role of Terry, a security guard, in the 2004 remake of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.
Whereas in Dawn of the Dead, the flesh-eating monsters are literally dead, in The Colony they are the starving survivors of a worldwide apocalypse that have descended into primitive, cannibalistic states.
The storyline is an interesting one: The Colony is set midway through the 21st Century, at a time when weather-modification technology has brought the Human Race to its knees. In the decades leading up to disaster, such technology was used to try and combat the effects of ever-increasing global warming.
As the planet gets hotter, the machines try to combat things by lowering the temperature. They do so, but in catastrophic fashion. Not only does the planet cool, but it starts to snow – everywhere. And the snow does not stop. Ever. As a result, and years later, the Earth is now in the grip of a modern day ice-age.
The landscape of the whole planet resembles the North and South Pole. Cities are buried under tons of ice and snow, and civilization is no more. Those that have managed to survive the worldwide freezing do so in huge underground installations where life is bleak, food is scarce, and a deadly form of flu is on the loose. Every day is a fight for survival and things are getting grimmer by the hour.
The Colony begins in what is termed Colony 7, where Briggs, Mason and Sam live – the latter with his girlfriend, Kai, played by Charlotte Sullivan. After the group receives a distress from another group of survivors – also deep underground, at what is termed Colony 5 – Briggs decides that someone must go and check out what’s afoot and why Colony 5 is now not just in trouble, but has subsequently gone completely silent, too.
When Briggs asks for volunteers to accompany him, Sam and a teenage boy named Graydon (Atticus Dean Mitchell) are quick to accept the challenge. Mason, meanwhile, plots behind the scenes to try and take control over Colony 7.
After an arduous and hazardous trek through arctic weather and a ruined, snow-covered city, the three finally make it to Colony 5 and descend into its underground depths. The colony is quiet, it’s downright too quiet. And when the trio finally stumbles upon a solitary, terrified colonist, they know something bad has gone down. Exactly how bad, soon becomes apparent. Colony 5 has been invaded by a band of psychotic cannibals.
Whereas those that live underground have retained their humanity, those who still live topside have descended into states of definitive savagery. To the horror of Briggs, Sam and Graydon, the colonists have been killed. The three find this out in graphic fashion when they stumble on the flesh-eaters slicing up body upon body, all being prepared for dinner.
Although the cannibals are not of the dead kind, they’re not just regular, but desperate people, either. Their teeth are like fangs and they scream, howl and roar rather than talk. In many respects they come across not unlike a combination of the infected of 28 Days Later and the animalistic vampires of the 2007 movie, 30 Days of Night – which, incidentally, is also set in a snowbound backdrop.
The three men make a run for it, with the hungry hordes in hot pursuit. Unfortunately, Graydon doesn’t make it. There’s equally bad luck too: Briggs sacrifices himself to prevent the cannibals from finding out where he and Sam live, namely Colony 7. It’s to no avail, however.
The people-eaters manage to follow Sam’s footprints and, in no time, break in to the colony, where a life or death battle begins – one which culminates in a fiery explosion as Mason kills himself and countless invaders. And it’s finally down to Sam to take on the leader of the cannibals – something that ends triumphantly for the dwindling band.
The Colony ends on a positive note, when Sam, Kai and the few who are left head for new pastures – pastures where, reportedly, the icy environment has been reversed and blue skies and green terrain are once again the norm. The end of the human race just might not be on the cards, after all.