No, this post isn’t about Colony, the book I finished a draft of back in February (someday, I will have the funds to edit that book properly). No, this post is just a short and sweet one about The Colony, which is a low-budget, made for TV science-fiction film that’s currently on Netflix.
It’s not bad.
That’s not saying it’s ground-breaking entertainment. Don’t expect anything the quality of Fury Road or Guardians of the Galaxy. But at the same time, it’s not the level of Sharknado or the abysmally terrible Icetastrophe. The Colony tells a “one generation into the future” story where things have gone horribly wrong and society has collapsed. Humanity, in its efforts to combat global warming, built a network of weather regulatoing stations and satellites which it then turned up to full power in eagerness to stop the planet from heating up.
It worked. However, as the planet began to cool a super flu ripped through the world, decimating the population and leaving all these machines running with no one to give them orders. The result is a new ice age, with humanity living in the titular colonies, most of them deep underground so that they can use geothermal heat to stay alive and power the lights over their weak crops.
If this sounds like a setup ripe for human drama and elements, yes it is. But if you’re expecting this to be a more thought-provoking film you won’t find it. Instead, the core of the plot revolves around a fairly standard action/horror sequence of events. Colony 5—where the story takes place—receives a distress signal from Colony 7, another habitation they’ve traded with from time to time. A small group sets out to render aid … and basically finds snow reavers (reavers being the crazy, violence-obsessed cannibal humans from Firefly).
From there things go about like you’d expect. Lots of running. People dying, usually with some blood. It’s not a movie for those who can’t stomach a little gore. As far as violence and language goes it probably sits somewhere in the PG-13 to R spectrum, closer to R than PG-13.
However, it’s not a terrible movie. Surprisingly, I wouldn’t even call it bad. Straightforward maybe. Lacking in complexity. But not bad. It has a story to tell and it wants to tell it. Then it does.
Better yet, it’s quick. There was a surprising lack of “idiot ball” for the most part. Most of the characters acted fairly rationally and with quick enough thought to the point where I never felt the urge to shout at the television “No you fool! You deserve to die!” And what’s more, my friends and I had gone into The Colony expecting to do that … so we were all primed and ready for it.
Instead we got a surprisingly competent film that provided exactly what it claimed in its summary. If it sounds appealing to you and you’ve got an hour-and-a-half to burn, give it a whirl.