Extinction: The G.M.O. Chronicles (2011)
Directed by Niki Drozdowski
After a virus outbreak, survivor Tom (Daniel Buder) finds shelter at an abandoned military facility where he used to play as a young boy. Whilst out collecting supplies from empty houses, he accidently shoots a survivor Bill (Jerry Coyle) who is staying in the house with his daughter, Lisa (Luise Bähr), and her boyfriend, Martin (Klaus Ebert). Tom takes the family back to the military facility and together they try to find help using a satellite phone. As the days pass, the group discover other survivors and with their help they must fight the population of the undead in order to survive.
I’m not the biggest zombie film fan in the world but I always give them a chance and go into watching the movies with a fair and open mind, as I do all genres. The problem with Extinction is that it struggles to keep interest, with the film crawling at a snail’s pace. The characters lack charisma for most part, with the exception of Max’s (Tobias Kay) brother David (Christian Stock), who’s so afraid of catching any viruses that he’s worn a forensic style protective suit and face mask for the last couple of years. His character provides comic relief and also romance as he connects with fellow survivor Zara (Bina Milas), who witnessed her brother being torn apart by the flesh-eating undead.
At almost two hours long, Extinction drags with a lack of interesting moments. When the rare occurrence of something exciting does happen, it’s usually cast aside as quickly as it’s revealed, such as the female screecher zombie that has no eyes and omits high pitched screams that alert other zombies. I’m disappointed that the creators decided to make her appearance a one-off as her species brought real fear to the proceedings. Instead, the director Niki Drozdowski featured more of the parkour zombies, the ones that freerun and scale buildings without trouble. Funnily enough, these freerunning infected come to chew on brains wearing hoodies and, curiously, with their face burnt to a crisp. Although these creatures can run and chase down their victims with ease, there’s never any real sense of threat or danger. Likewise, tension is a great factor here that is missing, despite the fact they had so much room and time to build it and produce great pay-offs.
Extinction isn’t a bad film. It’s just boring and unfortunately when you have a viewer sitting on their backside for 110 minutes, you need to keep them sat for a bloody good reason and I’m afraid Extinction has nothing much to offer. The Zombie genre is a tired one that has been redone a countless number of times. Unless you can bring something new and refreshing to the table within the genre, it’s just another ‘let’s survive the flesh-eating zombies’ film. A few zombie films recently have done a good job of creating a unique spin on the content and that is what makes a successful zombie film in my eyes. Extinction provides nothing new, just a re-hash of films gone by.
If you’re a die-hard zombie fan, you might enjoy this, but if you expect more punch from a story, I’m afraid this one isn’t for you.