Greetings again from the darkness. With billionaires building their own rockets and blasting off into space, a film about the colonization of Mars doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it did in TOTAL RECALL (1990), or even THE MARTIAN (2015). In his first feature film, writer-director Wyatt Rockefeller minimizes the science-fiction aspects and focuses more on human nature.

A family of three is making their way day-to-day in a compound. Father Reza (Jonny Lee Miller, “Elementary”), mother Ilsa (Sofia Boutella, THE MUMMY, 2017), and daughter Remy (an excellent Brooklyn Prince, THE FLORIDA PROJECT, 2017) have their own greenhouse to grow food, and even (somehow) raise their own pig. We learn they are living in some type of bubble which allows them to breathe without masks, and they have a water supply, though that’s one of countless things that are never explained.

One morning the family awakens to find “LEAVE” scrawled across their kitchen window. It turns out Jerry (Ismael Cruz Cordova, “Ray Donovan”), has returned to reclaim what he says was his family’s home. A battle ensues, and Jerry invites Ilsa and Remy to stay – as long as they don’t bother (or attack) him. Everyone seems to have weapons, though again, we never learn “what’s out there” as a threat.

Remy befriends a droid that resembles WALL-E. She names it Steve. Steve mostly lurks until one crucial scene which seems to come out of nowhere. This is after the ‘last man and last woman’ scenario is introduced with Nell Tiger Free (“Servant”) playing older Remy. Director Rockefeller filmed in South Africa which proves to be an effective stand-in for the surface of Mars, but just leaves too many questions unanswered for this viewer. The human nature aspect is well-handled. We hear Reza tell Remy, “We left Earth because we wanted more.” And later, “Someday it will be just like Earth”, the latter statement seemingly contradicting the first. However, the actions and attitudes of people on Mars seem to be all too similar to Earth’s inhabitants – and that’s a shame.

Opening in Theaters and On Demand on July 23, 2021


6 Responses to SETTLERS (2021)

  1. montrealray says:

    I’m a bit troubled by the ‘unexplained’ parts; suspension of disbelief isn’t usually a problem for me but I may pass on this one. Sure the human interactions should compel me to see it but I need convincing. Knowing you know my taste in movies better than most, can I ask you the favour of giving a personal recommendation, pretty please 🙂

    • Are you asking in regards specifically to Settlers? If so, I’d say move along. Nothing to see here (other than Brooklyn Prince, who is an outstanding child actor)

  2. montrealray says:

    Hi David

    Heads up The movie title and image you show in this email below do not match the review you wrote for ‘Joe Bell’ (or Good Joe Bell, as IMDb titles it) Thankfully your site ‘Movie Reviews from the Dark’ is okay for both the movie reviews of ‘Joe Bell’ and ’Settlers’

    Regards Ray


  3. Ellen Chalef says:

    this is review of Joe Bell.

    On Thu, Jul 22, 2021 at 11:39 PM Movie Reviews from the Dark wrote:

    > David Ferguson posted: ” Greetings again from the darkness. Given his > track record, Mark Wahlberg is not the guy that first comes to mind for a > message movie about tolerance and inclusion. On the other hand, he’s > perfectly cast as a macho Oregon dad struggling with his own prej” >

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