Movie Review: Extinction (2015)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2015 zombie-themed drama starring Matthew Fox and Jeffrey Donovan.

Synopsis: Nine years after a zombie virus eradicated most of Earth's human population, two men seek to protect a 9-year-old girl when the creatures discover their secluded hiding place. To survive, the men must find a way to overcome their long-time feud with each other and decide whether to stay or attempt to leave.


I came across this film on one of our movie channels a couple weeks ago and, thinking it would be a good choice for a rainy day, decided to record it. My wife and I ended up watching it last night and, while I wasn't really sure what to expect from it when we first started watching, it turned out to be a pretty decent film.

This movie is somewhat unique when compared to other zombie films. Instead of focusing on the action and horror parts of a zombie apocalypse, the film, instead, puts an emphasis on human drama with action/horror scenes being much more scattered.

Normally, this is something I would avoid in a movie from this genre. But, in this case, it actually worked.

There were a couple things I found I liked about this movie. The first was the way the movie made sure to show the negative parts of being isolated. The little girl (McColgan) was often rebellious simply because she was the only kid, wasn't allowed to go anywhere and was bored. The next door neighbor, Patrick (Fox), was half-crazed from having little-to-no human interaction.

The ongoing tension between Patrick and Jack (Donovan), which the movie explains through flashbacks, adds an additional interesting element to this film. They had the potential to work well together as a team. But, because of past events, it was unclear whether they would actually overcome their differences or if they would eventually just try to kill each other.

I also found I liked the creatures in this movie, which are shown as having evolved into something animal-like (a bit like a cat/human hybrid). They were fast, predatory and dangerous. But, they also showed quite a bit of intelligence too, something that made them even more scary. As I said, the movie spent a good chunk of the time focusing on the drama and human interaction. However, those creatures were just good enough to keep things from becoming boring.

In fact, my only real complaint about this movie is the same complaint I have with most zombie movies; I am expected to believe the characters have never seen a zombie film themselves. I know this isn't a big deal but, at this point, everyone should pretty much know you have to shoot a zombie in the head to kill it. The fact the characters survived a zombie apocalypse for 9 years and did not know this until the end of the movie (and, even then, they had to be told) just seems a bit unbelievable and I really wish modern-day zombie films would start taking that into consideration.

Final Opinion

The movie is a little unique as far as zombie movies go. But, in this case, the uniqueness really pays off and the film is much more entertaining than I thought it would be as a result.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 05/17/2017, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 08/14/2017

StevenHelmer, Me too, I agree with you and your wife about welcomely realistic notes, such as isolation-induced rebelliousness. And yes, I like the way you all observe that in the audio-visual age, everyone would know about zombie heads. In different and similar directions, I noted the realism of The Accountant having Affleck's character shoot tires and Three Days to Kill having Costner's character shoot legs. Everyone knows, but few films show, that car don't run and that man don't run if wheels and legs get hit!

judy on 05/17/2017

Humm this sounds interesting

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