Thursday, 22 January 2015

Review - The Pack (2010 - Franck Richard)

(Due to the fact that I've already reviewed The Pack, the competition rules state that Doccortex has to review it instead. So here's the final review of the FA Cup of Actors as Émilie Dequenne faces Ellen Page, who scored a respectable 6.5 with The East - evlkeith)

It’s the final of the FA cup of actors and I’m faced with reviewing this offering from the tournament favourite Émilie Dequenne with equal amounts of anticipation and trepidation. After her steadfast campaign through to the final of the World’s premier acting knockout competition, her ultimate success relies on what I think of this grubby looking little horror film. My hopes are not high, but maybe her impressive pedigree in the game will pull her through this final challenge.

It’s strangely likeable for a French horror film but no less predictable, with grotesque characters performing unspeakable horrors to passersby in the rural heartland of the country. Dequenne, however somehow manages to hold our interest with a smouldering, tobacco stained performance as the hapless road tripper Charlotte. She single-handedly turns the film from something I would have mercilessly fast forwarded into a positive experience holding your hand as you charge headlong through a nightmare world of fat women in chain mail, hell’s angels and miners. (Yes, that’s coal miners.)

The rest of the cast, action and plot seem to swirl around her classy performance in a somewhat shambolic fashion. After picking up a mysterious hitch hiker Charlotte ends up a captive in a dubious bar/café establishment which not only serves up croissants, coffee and onions to French rural folk, but also acts as a feeding station for a gang of mutant zombie coal miners who rise from the earth now and again for a bite to eat. 

Although the miners are heavily stylised and moderately ferocious they’re no way near a frightening as their South Yorkshire cousins who chased me around a local golf course as a teenager due to the ‘Did you shout fore?!’ incident. Needless to say it all ends in tears as bikers, fat woman, zombie miners and an attractive French actress all meet up for the shack based resolution rumble.    

It’s a cut above the other French horror films I’ve viewed due the dark humour, the atmosphere and Dequenne’s excellent performance. Ultimately it’s fun, a little gory and engaging stuff but lacks anything particularly memorable or especially scary, (and to be honest evlkeith’s original review was way more entertaining than the actual film!) And for that reason…I’m sorry Emily because you were great…I’m rating the film just a little better than average at 6/10. I just hope that’s enough but I know how highly evl rates Page so I'm not hopeful…

How close was that? It all came down to half a point. But Ellen Page is the winner of the FA Cup of Actors. We will have the crowning ceremony soon... - evlkeith

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