Film Review: Extinction
By DJ Forrest
Director Adam Spinks
Writers Ben Loyd-Holmes and Adam Spinks
Reviewed by DJ Forrest
‘Deep in the Amazon jungle a research team lead by a respected Professor strive to protect vulnerable and endangered species, but when their guides abandon them they soon realise they are in the hunting ground of prehistoric apex predators.’
I am a massive fan of dinosaurs, and in Extinction’s defence, I knew that I wouldn’t be seeing the same level of technology and film wonders that the big Universal studios had to offer, I also knew that this was another film by Ben Loyd-Holmes and because of the involvement of dinosaurs, given the film cover; I was really hoping it would deliver more thrills and spills than The Hike.
The film began with the cameraman James, I think, filming from the moment his co-worker opened her front door and continued right the way through the film till almost the very end.
I wanted to see the fuller picture. I wanted to take in the breathtaking views and marvel at the dinosaurs, see the cast in their glory, fully and not badly edited, or cut at the most inopportune moments. I wanted to see more of the dinosaur eggs captured briefly in the cave where they slept in and the herd of wild beasts running for all they were worth in the background.
I wanted to see more of what was outside of the tent each evening, and so on. I didn’t want to spend the whole film staring at the arse of the person in front of me and miss half of what was happening because of a roar from a creature that distracts them, or they’re running after being spotted by a carnivore, so all we see are feet, ground and blurred images.
I didn’t like the cameraman James. He was annoying. But then I think he was meant to be.
There was no soundtrack with the film. No dramatic pauses. No edge of the seat fear factors. It was just a film with random conversations cut short by poor editing, and lots of running through vegetation creating blurred images thanks to lots of camera waving.
This is where found footage films on a low budget let down the suspense, because the level of filming is lost to quick shots of shoes and bums and the ground you’re running along. And when there’s no soundtrack to jolly things along, it’s just a film with random speech, caught through snaps of heavy panting.
Ben’s films aren’t as straightforward as you’d like to think though. The Hike wasn’t just about two groups of people meeting and getting drunk and having sex. It was about who we, as people seem to put our trust and faith in. From celebrities to complete strangers, we only see what they want us to see.
So the missed opportunities were all part of the plan to confuse us. So that we’d write the negative reviews because we clearly didn’t understand what the film was really about. The noises we heard outside of the tent were for all intents and purposes, sounds of the jungle. Why would any of the intrepid explorers consider the possibilities of dinosaurs as these are after all, extinct!
So, as much as we knew, having seen the Jurassic franchise, that the roar outside of the tent was most likely a T-Rex or Velociraptor, it was far from the minds of those at the campsite.
The raptor eggs in the nest caught briefly in a flash of light from the camera were for our eyes only. The whole film was just about a group of explorers striving to protect the endangered species of the Amazon. Nobody other than us was aware of the likelihood of dinosaurs.
The dinosaur from a distance looked a majestic creature. It was a little more mechanical close up and failed to deliver on the horror of the situation when three of the team had their backs against the wall.
Overall, the film was mediocre. It didn’t raise any excitement for me other than seeing the large carnivore walking through the undergrowth. I felt nothing for the cast and the ending made no sense.
But then, this wasn’t meant to be a dinosaur movie, it was a group of people looking to save the planet, and wound up trying to save themselves.
Photos courtesy of Extinction Film