SETTLERS is a sci-fi thriller from IFC Midnight. This is a very dark story that certainly isn’t “feel good” in any sense of the word. Despite having a small cast, you’ll have to endure many deaths. All of them brutal despite not being very visual. Read our full Settlers movie review here!

SETTLERS is a sci-fi thriller that offers up a different kind of survival story. It’s a movie released by IFC Midnight which tends to be a very good sign. This one is no exception but it is a rather slow-burn form of storytelling, so you should prepare for that. And I do recognize that it will be too slow (and maybe even pointless) to some viewers.

If what you’re really looking for is a badass survival movie with lots of action, then check out Till Death starring Megan Fox instead. It came out recently and shows Megan Fox in her most kickass role since Jennifer’s Body. That’s right, I said it!


Our review of the action-thriller survival movie Till Death here >

Continue reading our Settlers movie review below.

The cast of Settlers 

To begin with, the core cast consists of just three people with Sofia Boutella (The Mummy), Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary), and the young Brooklynn Prince (Home Before Dark). All three deliver solid performances that help set the tone very early on. However, more people do join the cast – in various way that I won’t reveal here – and they also deserve a lot of recognition.

Towards the ending, the two main characters are portrayed by Ismael Cruz Cordova and Nell Tiger Free. The first is someone you should recognize from the HBO series The Undoing and the latter is in the Apple TV+ series Servant by M. Night Shyamalan.


Our season 2 review of Servant here >

While I do enjoy all the actors in this sci-fi thriller, to me, Nell Tiger Free is ultimately the one person who steals the show. Of course, she does the same in Servant. It almost goes without saying, since this is a survival story, but despite having a small cast, you’ll have to endure many deaths. And yes, they are rather brutal – even if you won’t see that much blood.

Settlers (2021) Review

Watch Settlers in theaters or on VOD

Settlers is the feature film debut of Wyatt Rockefeller. He both wrote and directed this movie which shows great promise, in my opinion. Prior to making this movie as his feature film debut, he wrote and directed two short films released in 2013 and 2014.

Overall, this is a very dark story that features a survival plot while also having a desperately hopeless vibe. This is probably the opposite of a feel-good movie. Well, except for the robot, Steve, who almost seems like a live-action version of the adorable Wall-E.

Also, this story is very character-driven and you will be able to guess some of the plot developments ahead of time. Personally, I didn’t mind any of this. I found it fascinating to delve into the human psyche in a somewhat different way with this sci-fi thriller. If you enjoy the darker slow-burn stories that are heavily character-driven, then be sure to check out Settlers.

SETTLERS will open in select theaters and everywhere you rent movies on Friday, July 23, 2021.


Director: Wyatt Rockefeller
Writer: Wyatt Rockefeller
Stars: Sofia Boutella, Jonny Lee Miller, Brooklynn Prince, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Nell Tiger Free, Natalie Walsh, Matthew Van Leeve


On a remote homestead amongst the Martian frontier, a refugee family from Earth clings to hope for a better life. But when strangers appear in the surrounding hills and attempt to run them off, nine-year-old Remmy is faced with the desperate reality her mother and father have tried so hard to keep from her.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)