Cinema Review: The Pack | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020  

The Pack

Studio: IFC Midnight
Directed by Nick Robertson

Feb 05, 2016 Web Exclusive
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Any horror fan knows, bad things happen when you are removed from society. Director Nick Robertson applies this theory to The Pack, the latest entry in the proliferating Aussie creature horror genre. The premise is simple: Adam Wilson, a farmer, and his veterinarian wife Carla, along with their sassy teenage daughter and innocent pre-teen son, fight for their survival when a pack of wild, ravenous dogs lay siege to their isolated home. It’s a clear structure, formulaic in a way that could serve as a good baseline for the action to escalate. There’s evocative landscape cinematography and the layout of the family’s farm offers intriguing possibilities. With a few expository kills by the threatening animal horde, there’s even a promise of a Herschell Gordon Lewis-ian super-gore factor. Carla and Adam refreshingly are equal partners throughout the narrative, each going head to head with the fearsome hounds at various points.

The Pack seems to know what it could be: unessential, but potentially enticing. This perceived self-awareness provokes the imagination, spurring visions of possible exciting turns. In the thick of the action, there are points where it seems that the film could really jump the rails and get beautifully twisted. It could be Straw Dogs with actual dogs! Or Roar with the gory ending it deserved! Or even just on par with the inventive a Black Water, a fellow Aussie-horror econo-hit.  Despite the interesting openings the film punctures in its formula, the detours from the expected course of events are short and return us firmly to known genre territory. The signs of promise that The Pack shows turn out to be mostly wishful thinking.

Author rating: 5/10

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