Extinction review


Whilst on an expedition in the jungles of Peru, a team of cryptozoologists, researchers and journalists discover a pair of dinosaurs that not only survived the mass extinction but have evolved and adapted ever since. This will be the discovery of a life, if they can escape the jungle alive…

Extinction: Jurassic Predators is a very physical film.

Like a lot of its Found Footage brethren, Extinction is comprised of about 80% travelling shots but this includes our cast trekking, hiking, climbing, clambering, running and wading through the hills, forests and rivers of Wales, which is doubling for Peru.

Considering the degree of physicality required, I thought that the cast did a good job. The accents never shake, Sarah Mac has a fantastic TV journalist voice, most of the jokes land successfully and although they’re not fantastically deep characters, the actors stay consistent and true to their character’s key personality traits (Michelle is very serious, James is not serious, Lisa is quiet, Tim is neurotic etc).

Whilst the found footage style does offer a little budgetary freedom, it also introduces a few pitfalls. The occasional dips into shaky-cam shooting makes for some hard to follow action scenes and there are a few unfortunately framed shots which favour Sarah Mac’s chest, crotch and derriere.

However, the actual creature scenes are handled very well and are very memorable thanks to the use of practical SFX to portray the majority of the dinosaur action. The animatronics (I think?) are a real surprise and I loved the way the dinosaurs were design and how they moved. CGI is used very sparingly for the dinosaurs which is a far more ambitious step than what I was expecting for such a low-budget production.

There are also a few cool set-pieces sprinkled in amongst the travelling which make clever use of live animals. There’s a few snakes, bugs and a scorpion used for set-pieces and not only does it make the scenes more interesting but it’s also surprisingly refreshing to see actors interacting with real creatures.

You might also notice that Extinction is strikingly similar to The Dinosaur Project, another British Found Footage Creature Feature following a dinosaur-discovering jungle expedition. With two now under our belts, I look forward to what the UK creature feature scene moves on to next.

It takes about an hour for the film to wake up but once it does, the practical SFX look really cool and there’s some nicely executed set pieces. Plus you have to respect how ambitious the film-makers were on such a low-budget.

Profile Extinction (2014)
Director Adam Spinks
Writers Adam Spinks & Ben Loyd-Holmes
Cast Sarah Mac, Daniel Caren, Ben Loyd-Holmes, Neil Newbon, Simon Burbage & Emma Lillie Lees
Creature Carnivorous Dinosaurs

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