The Horror Honeys: Honey XMas ~ Welcome to… Extinction

Honey XMas ~ Welcome to… Extinction

A Zombie Honey Winter Wonderland Review by Bella

Extinction (2015)

Godsdammit, studio people, Godsdammit. When you have a relatively good thing going for you, why do you have to ruin it? Extinction is the most generic, boring, non-committal horror movie title you could possibly come up with. Welcome to Harmony was, at the very least, intriguing. But that is really neither here nor there in regards to the film itself. 

No one is safe, except these three people.
I won’t lie, I was stoked for Extinction, and I wasn’t completely let down. It’s not a big surprise that I like a little personal drama in my zombie movies; it helps to flesh out a plot that is generally just flesh eating. So that’s a good thing in my book.

Extinction starts out pretty hardcore - amping up the zombie action to 28 Days Later levels. There is confined spaces, lots of people, lots of zombies, screaming, and fast-paced deaths. But that is just the beginning. As the zombies disperse (clearly because they no longer know how to drive a bus), so does the action. Years later the blood-stained snow has been long covered by new, pristine snowflakes and the survivors of the opening onslaught are… surviving. 

Jeffrey Donovan is Jack, a single dad raising his 9-year-old daughter, Lu, with as much normalcy as he can. And, Matthew Fox is Patrick, going a little mad surrounded by nothing by white. The two men have clearly had a falling out and are approaching their survival completely differently.  While Jack and Lu spend their days abiding by a fairly strict routine, Patrick makes his way out for supplies, horse steaks, and hopefully some much needed beard oil. 

Everything is extinct, what are they all looking at?
Relying on ONLY three people to carry a movie is never an easy task but Extinction makes it work, in it’s own way. As the audience you receive brief, and occasionally confusing, backstory through flashbacks that are more-or-less cliche - but that’s not what you’re here for. The character development, though completely devoid of zombies for a zombie movie, is pretty on point. You don’t really care too much about why these men are no longer friendly, but you might find yourself taking notes about how they are managing to survive in a winter wonderland with minimal resources.

It’s pretty easy to forget you’re watching a zombie flick and once you do, they reel you back in with some quick and creepy winter creature/zombie hybrid action. You see, the monsters that the survivors thought were extinct (this is a horrible reason for a movie title change, by the way), were actually just adapting - much like themselves. Evolution can be a bitch, though. These winter-weary zombies seem to be blind and rely on their other senses and adaptations to find their prey. 

Look! A zombie!
And Matthew Fox's thirsty beard.
Shortly after you’re brought back into the zombie portion of the story the personal drama shifts gears. Sure there are a couple of arguments, a couple of not-taken shots during a zombie attack (because fuck that guy that is the only other living adult that you’ve hated for at least 9 years), and a couple of conversations with one’s id - but all of that goes to the wayside with the arrival of a fourth survivor.

And here is where I lost interest and started applying my own characterizations - namely replacing Jack and Patrick with Michael (Burn Notice) and Jack (Lost) - which made for a far more interesting final act. I really dislike when a movie - built around the concept of a sole survivor, or minimal survivors - brings in an additional survivor. It’s so lazy and safe (see I Am Legend; see me eye-roll).

I thought the people were extinct too... are the zombies creating people?
What is happening?
Anyway, as the survivors come together to figure out how they are going to get themselves to a town - literally half a day away - and full of survivors, the zombies are coming together to stop them. In a final act of reconciliation Patrick offers up his life to the winter-beasts and sends Jack, Lu, and survivor #4 on their way. Awww. 

I can’t help but be disappointed in the final part of Extinction. It felt rushed compared to the meticulously paced character creation of the majority of the film. It also felt unnecessary. I mean, if it were only you and me and someone’s love-child for 9years, I don’t know that I’d be sacrificing myself to save everyone. But that unnamed survivor #4 - I’d more-than-likely throw them to the zombies. And that’s not even the most sigh-inducing element of the last act. As the new three-survivors make their way to their new town the sun comes up. Which of course is implying hope for their new life. However, they stop to admire it. THEY STOP. THEY GET OUT. THEY ADMIRE THE FUCKING SUN. Because of course the zombies wouldn’t be behind them - they’re too busy eating the only person you’ve known for 9 years.

Can you hear my beard now?
I think maybe they sacrificed the wrong survivor and his beard.

So, there ya have it. Extinction is more a person movie than a zombie movie, and if you don’t care for that sort of thing - you may want to stay away. If you don’t mind it give it a shot- I enjoyed it well enough- and while the zombies left me a little wanting, the back and forth life and times of Jack and Patrick was just what I expected.

ZOMBIE HONEY RATING: 3 zombie attacks out of 5 … because there were only 3 zombie attacks in the whole damn movie anyway.