Film / The Colony

The Colony post-apocalytic survival film starring Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Zegers.

The year is 2045, and humanity has been nearly eradicated by a globe-spanning winter. Pockets of civilization remain, hiding from the cold in underground structures. The residents of Colony 7 receive a distress signal from Colony 5 and go to investigate, setting off a chain of events that will change their lives forever.

This film contains examples of:

  • A House Divided: The first act sets things up that way, but by the time the Tyrant Takes the Helm, there's bigger things to worry about.
  • After the End: Endless winter has killed pretty much everything on the surface, and humanity isn't far off.
  • Apocalypse How: Societal Collapse, verging on Extinction. It seems extremely unlikely that humanity will survive.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Cannibal Leader is a pretty powerful hand-to-hand combatant and Briggs is a Retired Badass good enough to pull a pretty decent You Shall Not Pass Taking You with Me Last Stand.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Sam vs. the Cannibal Leader, on the burning warehouse of Colony 7.
  • Bittersweet Ending: On one end, the Cannibal Tribe is killed off, and Colony 7 now knows that another group has managed to fix some of the damage by the Weather Control Machines and made an "oasis", that they now have the coordinates of. On the other hand, Colony 7 has been completely destroyed, and only a handful of people (and one can full of seeds out of an entire warehouse) has survived. They now have no other option but to get to the oasis or perish. Sam has also been somewhat Maddened Into Misanthropy, if his final narrative speech (where he says that the only rule that matters now is "survive") is taken at face value.
  • Cannibal Larder: What Briggs's group walk right into when they investigate the thunking noise at Colony 5.
  • Cannibal Tribe: One serves as the central threat.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The Briggs/Mason division. Briggs is a Reasonable Authority Figure that tries to run the Colony with fairness (such as giving sick people time off in quarantine and testing before having to give them the Sadistic Choice of exile or death, as per procedure, and choosing to check on Colony 5 because they've made an agreement with it that includes going to check if it's in trouble) and Mason (who only bothers about the survival of Colony 7, no matter what).
  • David Versus Goliath: Sam vs. the Cannibal Leader. Sam spends a good chunk of the fight being flung around and battered mercilessly.
  • Fangs Are Evil: The cannibals are quickly identified as villains by their file-sharpened teeth.
  • For the Evulz: The only reason we get about why the cannibal tribe is doing all the horrible things it's doing is because they want "more".
  • Hard To Light Fire: The fuse of the dynamite Briggs sets on the bridge doesn't light easily, and blows out when he plants it, forcing him to go back and blow it up himself in a Heroic Sacrifice. And it doesn't light easily the second time, either.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Two major ones.
    • Briggs blows himself up to destroy the bridge between Colony 7 and Colony 5. The cannibals end up taking the long route, but he still killed quite a few of them.
    • Mason later shoots a propane tank to take out all but the leader.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The cannibal tribe has turned to this either from going mad or getting truly desperate.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: The first symptom of disease amongst the Colony 7 survivors-and literally because Mason's first option for dealing with sick people is Boom, Headshot. One man desperately tries to keep his sick wife from being heard by others when she develops it.
  • Jerkass Has a Point
    • Mason opposes the mission to Colony 5 on the grounds that they're unlikely to be able to help and that the resources would be better spent preserving themselves. He's proven right on both counts.
    • Mason also criticizes Sam for leaving a trail that brings the cannibals back to Colony 7. Sam knew the cannibals were following his footprints and that there was another way across the river, so he knew coming home would directly endanger the colony.
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: Laurence Fishburne is Bill Paxton and Bill Paxton is Laurence Fishburne.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Administered by Sam to the Cannibal Leader with an iron bar to end the fight. Turns out that the Leader is tough enough (and smart enough) to be able to play dead, prompting Sam to find a different way to make sure he's finished for good...
  • Off with His Head!: The cannibal leader is killed by Sam chopping his head off. From the jaw upwards.
  • Retired Badass: It doesn't often come up during the day-to-day of managing the colony, but with his military background Briggs can hold his own in melee combat.
  • Sadistic Choice: Anyone who gets sick and fails to get better has two options: a bullet or walking off into the snow, never to return. Mason doesn't even give them the luxury of walking, convinced they'll just get desperate and come back for a bullet anyway.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The only survivor from Colony 5 insists on locking himself up inside of a heavily-reinforced room and forces the Colony 7 team out after giving them some exposition on the "oasis" that another group of colonists made. Pity he didn't told them much about the cannibals, though.
  • Send in the Search Team: The first act of the story-sending someone to find out why Colony 5 stopped transmitting.
  • Shoot The Fuel Tank: Used effectively against the cannibals in Mason's last stand.
  • Stand Your Ground: Attempted by Viktor, but he doesn't have the authority or combat skill to uphold it.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The cannibal tribe will not stop, despite the fact that chasing the protagonists is killing them off quickly. Perhaps justifiable since they really have no other source of food.
  • The Chase: The second half of the film.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Once news of Briggs' death reaches Colony 7, Mason tries to take charge. The cannibals quickly take that option off the table.
  • Weather-Control Machine: The reason for the eternal winter. They were initially built to combat global warming. They certainly made it colder. One group of humans has managed to get one back online and undone the cloud cover in their vicinity.