After countless decades of predictability, zombie films are finally coming of age, finding new ways to thrill, entertain or make us think. From 2013’s Warm Bodies to this unique feature, fresh ideas are filtering through the stench of a decaying idea.
Extinction, released this year and not to be confused with last year’s dinosaur film with the same title nor next year’s sci-fi release with the same title, centres around just 3 people who are perhaps the last surviving humans after an apocalypse killed both the living and the dead.
In spite of their situation, Jack and his young daughter Lu (Jeffrey Donovan and Quinn McColgan) have little to do with their neighbour Patrick (Matthew Fox). In their gated homes, they lock themselves away from the deserted world within their snow covered town of Harmony. The animosity between the two households becomes apparent as the plot unfolds and, when a new breed of creature suddenly appears on the scene, the bickering survivors finally have to band together to make it through the impending zombie attack.
Separating Extinction from most of its kin is the human-centric story of people clinging to life and hope against the odds. This is a drama about them, not the zombies. The occasional spates of violence and frights are minimal, which makes them more surprising and horrific when they come but for most of this 2 hour film, we get to know the people, their relationships and their history.
Director Miguel Ángel Vivas co-wrote the screenplay with Alberto Marini, based on the novel Y pese a todo… (And Despite Everything…) by Juan de Dios Garduño. The action is steady and well-paced and despite the limited time on the edge of your seat, the characters are interesting enough, even if their lack of neighbourly spirit is hard to swallow under the circumstances.
If you’re looking for a good horror or you’re out for your fill of blood-soaked screams, you won’t find them here. What you will find however, is a few very normal people who happen to be the last of humankind on the verge of extinction.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 6
Extinction is out now on DVD.