We watched The Colony and it was a pretty poorly received by everyone in the room. It's a 2013 post-apoc film about a small group of people that live underground in a bunker called Colony 5. They have power but can barely grow enough food to stay healthy. The world has been covered with snow for many years and there aren't many people left alive. Laurence Fishburne is Briggs, the head of Colony 5 and Bill Paxton is Mason. They had been soldiers together and they pretty much run the place. Mason's not quite right in the head, he's overly paranoid and prone to anger. If anyone gets sick they're driven out of the colony. They get a choice, take a bullet or take a long walk in the snow. It's their choice, but Mason isn't listening, he's just shooting.
The other local colony, #7, sends a distress call and Briggs and a couple of the others leave to see what's up. Briggs leave a woman in charge and that puts a hair up Mason's already highly impacted ass. There's some snow traversing but luckily the 7th colony is only a day and a half away on foot. The guys rest overnight in a crashed helicopter. On the trip we see one of the weather control towers from the days before the snow. The towers used to keep the climate change in check but one day it started to snow and most everyone starved to death. The guys find blood at the entrance to the colony and locked in a room they find a scientist who tells them that they recieved a message from a group that has one of the weather towers going again. They have dirt but no seeds. Colony 7 sent a group to look for the hot spot but they never came back. Their tracks lead trouble right back to their door.
Turns out cannibals have invaded and killed everyone at Colony 7. One of the trio from Colony 5 is killed when they stumble on the cannibal's butchering some of the locals. Briggs and Sam escape and camp out in the helicopter for the night. In the morning they find their footprints have left a trail for the cannibals to follow and the bitey guys are right behind them. Briggs figures to stop them on a bridge with some dynamite. It nearly works but Briggs is blowed to pieces. Sam makes it back to the colony, warns Mason of the cannibals but they don't believe him. There's a big fight at the colony when the scum shows up. The bad guys are killed, the colony ruined and the survivors wonder off into the snow hoping that the possible warm spot really exists. Boom, the movie ends.
I'm almost sad to say it's a Canadian film. It was made for $16,000,000 and it looks like much more money is up on the screen. The CGI is fairly good, not always perfect but certainly better than a lot of the stuff you would see on the SciFi channel. The camera work is good and so is all the behind the scenes technical stuff. The problem is the script, it's cliche ridden, totally predictable, and the characters do the stupidest things, all the time. The story seems to have the elements randomly picked from a hat. "Okay, second act? Oooh, grunting feral cannibals." I wouldn't recommend it to much of anyone. Not because it's awful, it's just an amalgom of the stuff you've seen before, but because there's nothing special to tie it all up in a good way.
I'd recommend our next feature. We watched the BluRay of The Haunted Palace from the new Shout Factory 4 disc Vincent Price Collection. It's also got The Fall of House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Witchfinder General and it's U.S. version The Conqueror Worm. Most of these are pretty good films. The Haunted Palace is a 1963 film directed by Roger Corman. He did the same job on the first 3 of the other films listed above. THP is written by Charles Beaumont and it's based on a HP Lovecraft story called The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward and a bit of poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. The movie barely uses any of the plot and elements from the Lovecraft story and I'm not sure what the Poe poetry is about, other than to attach Poe's name to the title to connect it to the previous Corman produced Poe adaptations. He made 8 of those for American International. The IMDb currently lists 405 production credits for Roger. That's a ton, huh. He's still one busy guy at 87 years old.
Vincent Price plays both Joseph Curwin and Charles Dexter Ward. Joseph lived in 1765 Arkham Massachusetts where he practised the dark arts and diddled some of the local young ladies. The angry townsfolk burn him alive, with his dying breathe he curses their decendents. Charles lives in 1875 and Joseph is his ancestor. Charles inherits the big ass house that Joseph brought back from the old country. Lon Chaney is the caretaker. The towns folk won't help Charles even find the house but the local doctor befriends them and point them to the house on the hill outside of town.
Charles is married to Anne who's played by Debra Paget. Neither of them is thrilled with the house, or the town and it's locals, and they don't plan to stay very long. At the house they find a painting of Joseph on the wall over the fireplace. It's kind of a creepy painting and as Charles stares at it he becomes possessed by his ancestor. Charles tells his wife he wants to stay and fix up the house to sell. The villagers have suffered from the curse and over the decades many of their children have been born with deformaties. Some are free to wonder the streets and some have to be locked away. It gets more tense in Arkham as the movie continues.
The possessed Charles grows more distant from Anne and closer to Lon and his other assistant Jabez. They are the same men who helped him 110 years ago. The trio of villains dig up the body of Joseph's mistress Hester and try to revive her. It doesn't work right away. Joseph, in Charles body, goes out and kills a couple of the decendents of the men who burned him alive so long ago. He enjoys his vengence way too much. Lon thinks it's a bit dangerous but Joseph doesn't care.
Eventually the townies revolt and attack the house. There's a good bit of chaos and running about. Lon and Jabez disappear from the movie and Charles is freed from the possession when the painting is burnt. Or is he? I don't know. What I do know is I enjoyed the story and the characters. It's kind of mildly creepy, the sets are fairly good and the Beaumont's script is pretty entertaining. Not to everyone's taste.