Newest Reviews
Quiet Place Part II, A
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Night Drive
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
  Settlers How Long Is A Night On Mars?
Year: 2021
Director: Wyatt Rockefeller
Stars: Sofia Boutella, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Brooklynn Prince, Nell Tiger Free, Johnny Lee Miller, Natalie Walsh, Matthew Van Leave
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Remmy (Brooklynn Prince) is a nine-year-old girl who lives on Mars after a project to establish an Earth colony there bore fruit - and vegetables, for she and her parents are able to grow everything they need in their sizable greenhouse, and they also keep pigs and chickens in the compound. Remmy's father is Reza (Johnny Lee Miller), who dotes over the child, as does her mother Ilsa (Sofia Boutella), but together they are growing anxious about the situation for reasons they do not share with her. However, the girl begins to pick up on their unconscious signals, to the extent of needing their company to get through the Martian nights. Then, it happens: a message written on a window: "LEAVE" - who is there with them? And what is their problem?

Shot in South African desert to pass for the Martian one, this was the feature debut, after the requisite shorts, of writer and director Wyatt Rockefeller, who set out to create a Western with science fiction elements. We are told early on that Planet Earth has suffered a dramatic decline, and it was someone's big idea there to set up colonies on Mars, but before you start thinking, yeah, yeah, we've all heard of Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, there was a twist. In that book, like this a set of shorter episodes telling an overarching yarn, the Earth people fail on Earth but succeed on the red planet; however, here they fail on Mars as well, which leaves a particularly bleak ending should you consider the bigger implications of those final images.

Settlers could be regarded as a coming of age tale as well, and at least in an oversaturated market there was a novel setting for this one, as Remmy was played by two performers, Prince and for the last third, Nell Tiger Free for her eighteen-year-old self. One actor was consistent across the three parts, and he was Ismael Cruz Cordova playing the not very sci-fi named Jerry; it is he and his two cohorts who are trying to force Reza and Ilsa off their land. The cohorts do not last long, but Jerry does, claiming he was brought up on this settlement and wanting it back, which thanks to his strongarm tactics he does, though there is some ambiguity over whether he should be viewed as a villain or merely someone driven to desperate measures to survive. Remmy, as Jerry makes himself comfortable, you suspect will not forgive him the violence he has implemented to get his way.

Rockefeller had the look of the piece just right, sunbaked and barely survivable in a way that said this was the new frontier, a frontier in a manner the original American settlers would recognise. And yet, unlike those original settlers, the ones on Mars have not succeeded, which is not something you often see in this genre, indeed we begin to wonder if the family we started with are the only humans trying to make a go of living in this scenario on the whole planet. Don't go seeking scientific accuracy, however, the gravity is perhaps unsurprisingly the same as on Earth, and the explanation of how the characters can breathe is an old science fiction favourite, but leaves out any others of the drawbacks of that set-up. There was a Silent Running-style cute droid, on the other hand, which comes on like a fun distraction, as much as this can be fun, but does have an important plot point to deliver late on, yet mostly this eked out its narrative in a series of increasingly downbeat vignettes from Remmy's existence, Jerry growing ever more entitled as she ages. Good looking for what it was, but not enormously enjoyable. Music by Nitin Sawhney.

[SETTLERS will be available to watch from 30th July 2021 in the UK and Ireland on iTunes, Amazon, Sky Store, Virgin, Google/YouTube, Microsoft.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 241 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: