The Pack (2010)

October 23, 2011 - 11:50pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: BE-FILMS, Émilie Dequenne, foreign, france, Franck Richardm La Fabrique de Films, french, ghouls, La meute, Motion Investment Group, the pack

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Franck Richard
Émilie Dequenne, Yolande Moreau, Philippe Nahon, Benjamin Biolay, Marie Denarnaud, Brice Fournier

The Pack is a French movie that I've been anticipating for a while. Although it offers a very common theme, it delivers a minor twist by modifying the standard crazed backwoods-type family and throwing in these ghoulish meat-eating humanoid creatures. Unfortunately, it also suffers from some serious drawn out scenes and pacing issues, resulting is a bit of a mixed bag for me.

The film starts off in very recognizable territory with a young woman driving through a secluded road, where she picks up a hitchhiker along the way. The duo stops at a small bar in the outskirts for a little rest from the long drive, but the hitchhiker mysteriously disappears after he makes a trip to the bathroom. Bored and curious, the woman suspects something off with the bar owner and decides to scope the place out after hours. This proves to be an obvious mistake once she's knocked unconscious and finds herself in a large dirty animal cage the following morning. Little does she know that she's now in line to be the next meal for a small army of carnivorous underground creatures.

As you can tell from the premise, The Pack does veer towards familiar territory and sadly doesn't really try to change much or attempt to offer any surprise twists along the way. I really wanted to like this more than I actually did, but the lack of creative effort and pacing just brought some things down for me. Though, the movie surprisingly also presents positive aspects that kind of evens things out in the end. While the pacing is slow, we're treated to some great cinematography and a really dark foreboding atmosphere. And although the story is a little bland and overused, it more than makes up for things when "the pack" is more of an apparent threat to the characters.

Speaking of which, the creatures themselves are definitely the best aspect of the film. Their look was simple, yet effective, and their mannerisms were very creepy and zombie-like at times, which was a definite plus for me. In true modern French horror fashion, there are some quick bouts of gore and graphic violence, but not as much as I was hoping to see. Nevertheless,  what's given is still a delight and the film makes up for some of the dreary first half thanks to the fairly tense last 20-minutes. It's just unfortunate that the improved pacing in the last bits weren't more present throughout the rest of the picture.

The Pack is a decent flick that attempts to modify a tired sub-genre and although it stumbles along the way due to some pacing issues, comes out above your normal effort. It's a mixed bag for me, but if you don't mind the really slow build-up for the first half and can appreciate the cinematography and style it offers, then you may find yourself digging this.

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FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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