Miguel Ángel Vivas’ “Extinction” – 2015 Fantasia Film Review

Two male friends, and the infant daughter of one of them, are the only survivors when a bus is invaded by zombies…next to a town’s “Welcome to Harmony” sign.

No, this is not a comedy.  It’s more like a feature length episode of a TV show.  Thankfully, it’s a fairly decent TV show.  Years later the men live across the street from one another in fenced in, heavily fortified homes.  Neither has seen a zombie, or any other human beings, in a very long time.  Even worse, there’s been some seriously bad blood, and the two men no longer speak to one another.  Thankfully, one of them has the child to communicate with, but the other has only a dog.  As such, the latter becomes the more active, daring and desperate of the two men, regularly venturing out alone in order to hunt for meat, while also monitoring and broadcasting from a small radio transmitter in an attempt to reach other possible survivors.  By contrast, the family man next door works full time simply to keep himself and the girl safe.  She is forbidden to leave the home or have contact with their neighbor.  He only leaves when it is necessary to go out scrounging for canned goods.

Until a zombie is spotted, that is.  An evolved zombie…stronger, faster and presumably harder to kill!  This, of course, forces the two men to work together.

As another festival goer commented, at this point the film begins to resemble “I Am Legend” meets My Two Dads.  In the end, there’s a bit too much melodrama for my liking, and the performance of one of the men (Burn Notice‘s Jeffrey Donovan) feels decidedly small-screen, but thankfully, the young actress (Quinn McColgan) is pitch perfect, managing to hold the film together almost entirely by herself.  Matthew Fox (Lost) also stars.

“Extinction” received its world premiere at the 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival on July 18.  The festival runs through August 5.  For further information go to fantasiafestival.com.