I did not know what to expect when I started watching a film titled The Colony last night. It has a lower than 6 rating on IMBD, so I wasn’t certain if I should waste my time on this one, and trying to learn more about the film before fully committing to watching it< I discovered the film is a European import that also has the tit;e Tides. For some reason, I felt compelled to check it out anyway, maybe because of its European DNA, or maybe despite it coming from across the pond. I did not expect a pleasant surprise and a refreshing change of pace in an arthouse-style science fiction film that bucks the trend towards action/thrillers heavy with CGI effects that have dominated the genre lately.
The Colony tells an engaging story that develops and unfolds more quickly than expected. It’s a high-stakes story that grabs the attention. Despite its arthouse look, its eventful narrative is, in reality, a classic tale of good vs. evil with themes exploring human nature and the idea of choosing between right and wrong, in a story that gets down to business right out of the gate. This film doesn’t waste any of its efforts or time being flashy; it just tells a nice engaging story with a lot of heart. The Colony depends more on the beauty of its cinematography and the film’s remarkable use of light and shadow.
Because the story it tells takes place on a post-apocalyptic earth, this film is naturally reminiscent of the Road Warrior films (1981-2015). Still, it utilizes ideas I have seen before in other places and productions. Films like Waterworld (1995) and the animated Wall-E (2008) come to mind, among others. Despite that, this film never really feels derivative. The Colony’s narrative takes place on earth in the future, years after a disastrous event that caused most of the human population to migrate to another planet. The film’s setting is on the shore of a large body of water, and water plays a huge role in the film’s narrative. I’m not certain why the film’s creators chose such a damp and soggy setting for their film unless all that water is meant as a metaphor, but it’s not one I could not figure out. The Colony must have been not easy to complete because of all the discomfort caused by the constant sogginess and dampness of the film’s sets.
Not familiar with this title? Tides (also known as The Colony) is a 2021 German-Swiss science fiction thriller film directed and written by Tim Fehlbaum. The film stars Nora Arnezeder, Iain Glen, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, and Joel Basman. Ian Glenn (Game Of Thrones) does a good job as the film’s bad guy who has embraced authoritarianism to accomplish his misguided agenda, and Nora Arnesader, who does most of the film’s heavy lifting in an impressive performance, does an excellent job in her role as the film’s chief protagonist. The supporting cast does a great job as well. In case you couldn’t tell, The Colony made a favorable impression on me and was a refreshing change of pace from the seemingly endless trend of pyro-tech and explosive heavy sci-fi action thrillers that keep trying to outdo each other. Recommended.