The Colony and Cabin Fever: Patient Zero are currently available on instant Netflix.
The Colony (2013) – Not rated
“After losing contact with the only other known settlement in an icy postapocalyptic landscape, an outpost of colonists discovers a sinister threat.”
Several times I have seen this film compared to John Carpenter’s The Thing yet the only thing it shares is a frozen setting. The Colony is simply a cold post-apocalyptic picture. I would take it more seriously if I hadn’t seen the similarly themed and far, far superior Snowpiercer.
The Colony stars a rather bland Kevin Zegers as our protagonist braving the cold to find out what happened to a sister outpost. He is backed up by Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton who are worth watching but play one-note characters. There was one moment where it would have been great to hear Paxton say “Game over, man, game over.” but it was not to be.
The entire story is somewhat bland and by-the-numbers. The only thing intriguing was that the film was shot in a decommissioned NORAD base so the sets were able to not look like sets. The Colony isn’t bad – it just wasn’t very interesting.
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014) – Not Rated
“On a remote island, a group of vacationers stumbles upon a seemingly abandoned research facility where a deadly flesh-eating virus has been unleashed.”
“I think Penny’s sick.”
Cabin Fever (2002) was a delirious rollercoaster ride and a breath of fresh air for the horror genre. It was over the top and very gross. Eli Roth is to be given all the credit as he wrote, directed, produced, and even appeared in it.
The less said about Cabin Fever 2, the better. Ti West, who directed the brilliant The House of the Devil, disowned the film following too much studio interference. It was filmed in April 2007 but didn’t even receive a release until late in 2009. It has some good ideas (method of transmission, setting) but is basically just an unadulterated mess.
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero features a single name actor. Sean Astin plays Porter, our titular Patient Zero. As might be surmised, he outshines the other actors who are almost entirely twenty-somethings chosen for their looks.
The female scientists are all hot young ladies. One of them has her lab coat open and blouse unbuttoned to emphasize her cleavage. Naturally she has to strip down to her bikini in a later scene. Don’t ask why she would be wearing a bikini under her scientist outfit.
The other people on the island are a group celebrating a bachelor party on a private island. They have a dinghy that will only travel a couple of miles and radios and phones that don’t work (surprise). The bride lets her groom go off on a boat with his friends. This would be understandable except that one of these friends is an attractive, bikini-clad young lady who used to be the groom’s boyfriend.
The plot has all kinds of nonsense like that. The facility is alternately brightly lit, really dark, or strobingly lit – all for no apparent reason. It is also laid out in a remarkably illogical manner. I think it could easily be re-used as a villain’s underground lair though.
Patient Zero is a passable waste of time for gorehounds. It may receive a little extra attention given the current Ebola crisis but in no way can be taken seriously.