The Pack (2010) Poster

(2010)

User Reviews

Review this title
23 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
Rather good fun if slightly scrappy rural horror shenanigans
Bloodwank31 August 2010
I wonder whether the script for this one was complete before filming began or whether they just made things up as they went along. The film is a tonal mish-mash, falling into three distinct segments of notably varying seriousness, starting as a coarsely comic affair it then moves into dark "woman in peril" territory, ending in the realms of loopy siege horror. Fortunately things are underpinned by a fine lead, inspired villain and constant dark ambiance that is rather chilling at times. We follow the attractive young Charlotte Massot, driving across France when she picks up a long-haired hitcher. Stopping off at a roadside restaurant they narrowly miss getting raped before Charlottes new friend goes missing and things get worse from here. The film combines numerous backwoods horror tropes into one tasty brew, geographic isolation and cultural isolation with all character bar the heroine being rather strange, threat of being raped, threat of being eaten, broad characters and wonky dialogue, all dealt out with mania that never winks at the audience, no matter what the cliché. Handy performances give this one a big leg up, Emilie Duquenne is a delightful lead, tough but convincingly frayed when things get nasty, and affectingly traumatised when her ordeal gets nasty. Eric Godon gives suitably greased up and shifty vibes as the hitchhiker, while Philip Nahon plays things broad as a dirty minded cop. Highest marks go to Yolande Moreau as physically imposing, fearsomely tough restaurant owner La Spack, homely looks and unwieldy size hiding creepy malevolence and impressive vigor. Director Franck Richard largely plays things unflashy but has some imaginative flair, the film is focused less on action or big setpieces than mood, with plenty of time spent highlighting the grim and grimy art direction, bleak surroundings and atmospheric outdoor conditions. Some gore, though the gore scenes are around just long enough to be appreciable rather than dwelt on. Score and sound design brood, erupting in industrial pounding when events really hot up, a good complement to the visuals. Tighter handling would have helped this one, also some better dialogue but altogether I had a great time. Well worth a look for loopy backwoods/hicksploitation horror enthusiasts.
20 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Nice, but not overall convincing
diggs838 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
well, a french one... starts as a road-movie, than being a bloody slasher until a sort of comedy-bloody-fairytale...the actors doing a good job, the plot is twisted...maybe the movie wants to much. when you like horror you be pleased, specially when you like the European style of cinema. has some funny lines in it. but sometimes you be like "o- kay, didn't thought it'll work out like that". but once you feel the vibe of one of the three genres i mentioned earlier and all of a sudden the movies changes, you feel kind of irritated. it's like watching a picture, thinking it's nice - the movies well photographed - but you do yourself a favor if you not asking yourself: whats that all about????
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Meandering but still entertaining sort-of-Zombie film
Simonster30 March 2011
Viewed at the Festival du Film, Cannes 2010

One of the best things about the Festival is how everyone who loves film, whether it's for fun or profit, often piles into a cinema for a shared experience, whereby you get folks of all nationalities and tastes often watching a film they normally might not bother with. The Pack is a perfect example.

This is a cross-genre horror film that also wants to make some social comments, especially about the how and why of the creatures, hence my use of "meandering" in the summary. As has been mentioned by a previous poster, it starts as one film, changes to another and then goes a different way. At the same time, the elements do work, perhaps better individually than as a whole. Even so, The Pack is fun and it's nice to see a European horror film get a good reception.

The usual genre rules are there: Don't pick up hitchhikers, don't stop at a desolate restaurant run by a weirdo, don't get caged up in the basement as a snack for locally marauding monsters. In fact, maybe give all of France and Belgium a miss?

There are the obligatory jumps and shocks, some black humour, the requisite gore and the final last standard. In that sense don't expect anything new from The Pack. But at the same time there is a sure hand on the tiller, except for this meandering, which could have been sorted out at script stage. It doesn't damage the film as more as weaken the effect it could have. But my criticism is more the disappointment of how a good film misses being great, so on that basis The Pack was given a very good reception and makes for some enjoyable thrills, chills and spills.
14 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Some things should stay buried
kosmasp26 December 2010
But then again we would have missed out on a very suspenseful and very good beginning of this movie. But somewhere after one third of the movie it changes gears drastically ... and unfortunately it looses almost all of its drive. Movies that change "lanes" or "gears" are not uncommon (the original From Dusk til Dawn being the most recognizable), but in this instance it just does not work in favor of the movie.

It should have stayed with the humor and pace it established at the beginning instead of trying to experiment too much. Sometimes a few glimpses of that shine through in the latter part of the movie. Still not enough to make this worth-while and a very disappointing ending concludes the whole thing. A shame then, but maybe the director can and will come up with something better next time around.
12 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
"New French Extremism", they call this. How about "Old French Lunacy"?
fedor818 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"I told you not to pick up hitchhikers" says the buffoonish old cop to the damsel-in-distress, as he frees her from her cage. So that must be the movie's message: don't give rides to hitchhikers because they might be merely bait to get you to stop over in a seedy backwoods diner, where a fat woman will kidnap you, and then prepare you as food for her brood of dead/undead bloodthirsty demons-from-beneath-the-surface sons. I think it's a lesson we can all agree on is both useful and intelligent.

I, for one, have often considered picking up hitchhikers, but then changed my mind at the last moment, fearing that the hitchhiker might be one of those numerous cannibals (or at the very least friends-of-cannibals) so I always thought "nah, not worth the risk; if they stick me in a cage and try to force-feed me with weird nutrients through a tube as I sit shackled in a torture-chair, how do I know that I won't be annoyed, or even eaten?" This is probably why I am still alive and not being digested in the guts of a French-movie hell-demon-zombie.

So how did the events in this highly original flick even come about? It all started when the family from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" downloaded the "Motel Hell" DVD one day. They became instant fans of this "classic". This life-changing cinematic experience lead them to the decision to take an extensive French-language course. A year later they moved to rural France, where the male clan members got jobs at the local mine. A mine accident occurred and the fine young cannibal males all died. Then – as is the case with all buried/killed miners - they rose from the dead, then lost their eyesight, started looking like the creature from "Pan's Labyrinth", and then cried out in one voice, loudly: "Mom, we're moles now, and we want be to fed like moles… sort of. Human Tofu, pleeeeease!" All clear?

It's just another brainless, depraved, sadistic-for-the-sake-of-it French flick, without an ounce of logic or purpose. The only thing that differentiates LM from similar turds, such as "Martyrs" and "L'interieur", is that this particular celluloid disaster has elements of fantasy in it, whereas most other Nouveau Extremisme de la France turdeuax don't.

The movie completely lost me in what I consider a crucial scene – and by "crucial" I mean crucially MORONIC scene: when the girl and the hitchhiker approach his farm early on, they see a young woman wrapped in cellophane, running frantically and bumping into furniture, eventually knocking herself unconscious. This amazingly odd event, which would have had anyone suddenly very wary of entering the diner, left our damsel COMPLETELY cold. She just didn't care. Are we to assume that in rural France it is customary to welcome diner guests by hiring women to run around, wrapped in cellophane, while they bump into things randomly? Judging from the damsel's reaction – yes.

This scene was crucial because it took me out of the movie, i.e. from that point onwards I simply couldn't take these absurd characters seriously, hence I stopped taking the movie seriously, hence I didn't care what happens. When a few minutes later three absurd/fictional bikers started pounding the cellophane-wrapped girl in the face viciously, that merely confirmed that I was watching an extremely dumb movie. A little later, guess what happens? Well, what MUST happen in every perverse French movie: a man has to be raped. (The cinematic tradition of male-on-male rape is a one that French film-makers carefully nurture.) Fortunately for her son, Momma Texas Chainsaw arrives with a shotgun at the last moment, points it at the very unrealistic bikers, thereby sparing her offspring a very painful introduction into the bizarre world of French-movie sodomy.

It's not entirely clear why Momma Texas Chainsaw's mole-sons had decided not to eat the damsel when she was on their menu that one evening. Perhaps they preferred Tofu that day? (Their Oriental victim had the word "Tofu" branded on his forehead. I did say the movie was fairly retarded.) Nor is it at all clear why Momma Texas Chainsaw is immune to bullets; she got shot, point blank, and yet she stood up later without even a bullet mark or any trace of blood staining her beautiful peasant-slasher attire. Later on, we have more confusion when the three very fictional bikers reappear, and then barely react to having a freshly severed head thrown at them through a window. Apparently, rural French bikers get that all the time – body parts being hurled at them. It doesn't faze them.

In fact, these bikers later UNITE with the damsel and Momma Texas Chainsaw's only non-mole son, against her and her mole brood. And no, it's not a tongue-in-cheek movie. IT'S. SIMPLY. STUPID.

Nor is it clear why the old cop behaves in such a bizarre way. (Nor why he is so daft as to lean on the cage where the obviously undead Momma Texas Chainsaw resided.) Must everyone be insane in a French horror film? Even the good guys? Sure, why not. This is a very French movie, don't forget.

LM can't even stick to its own rules. First the mole-zombies move very slowly, but later on they're suddenly Olympics sprint champions. Even their numbers shift. At first there are four, but later a dozen of them – and we know that Momma Texas Chainsaw fed only a handful.

At the end of these 80 minutes of sheer twaddle, the damsel eventually loses her battle against evil, and ends up hanging from a rope, upside-down, while her 38th liter of blood drips down her face (she's got a leg missing, see). In LM, it's not just the mole-zombies that defy the laws of physics, biology, and even the most basic logic.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Pack of idiots
movieman_kev24 April 2012
'tough girl' Charlotte is also a bit of a daft twit, who doesn't mind picking up hitchhikers, even falling asleep while allowing him to drive, snoop in her belongings, and take her to an out of the way backwoods diner. When he disappears into the restroom of said diner and never returns, she's hellbent on finding this complete stranger. And that's far from the last mind-blowingly stupid decision she makes. Furthermore, while it was nice to see French horror mainstay, Philippe Nahon playing a local policeman in the movie, it only served to remind me of other more quality horror films. Ones that this movie can't help but fail in comparison to. The creatures are visually striking but that's pretty much it.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
The Pack
Scarecrow-884 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In some godforsaken rural part of France, a young woman, Charlotte Massot (Émilie Dequenne; playing one of those edgy, posturing types whose clothes, attitude, and taste in music defines her personality) driving with no specific destination, decides to pick up a solemn, relatively introverted hitchhiker, Max (Benjamin Biolay), telling him she plans to stop when her cds run out, just following the direction of the sun. Stopping off at a cruddy diner, the two sit down for a cigarette smoke and drink, getting into an altercation with repulsive, purposely vulgar bikers, the slovenly shot-gun packing proprietor of the grungy joint (Yolande Moreau, as La Spack) breaking it up. When Max hits the john, not returning, Charlotte is curious of his disappearance, not finding him in the bathroom, bewildered at where he possibly vanished to. After a conversation with a rather creepy retired law enforcer of the area (who wears a shirt that reads "I F*ck on the First Date"), Charlotte (giving this guy her name and phone number) will return to La Spack's establishment later into the night, her goal to see what lies behind a peculiar door in the restroom where Max went in and never came out. La Spack is waiting for her, using a paddle (it is basically a piece of wood with a handle) to knock her unconscious. From there is a surreal nightmare where creatures from deep within the earth, with a voracious appetite for blood and flesh, may be treated to Charlotte, and some poor Asian kid in a cowboy hat, murmuring repeatedly, "John Wayne, John Wayne, John Wayne…", rocking up and down nervously, both held captive in La Speck's basement, in cages, preparing them as human food because why should the vampires (with no eyes or nose) be refused din-din—don't they deserve to survive just as much as Charlotte? That's pretty much it, in a nutshell. You'll remember the grotesque facial features of the monsters (they walk in the lumbering fashion of Romero Zombies, with two husk-like lower teeth that protrude as they gargle, ready for their blood feast), the slobby La Spack and her macabre activities favorably doting on the monsters at the misfortune of victims who become trusting of her rather unassuming son (he doesn't look threatening, and Charlotte becomes so at ease with him, she lets Max drive while she sleeps!), the farm and its surroundings (reeking of a depression era poverty, out in the middle of nowhere, fields and lumpy empty valleys surrounding it), and the graphic violence (a monster's hand literally rips through a victim's chest, searching for the lock handle to the door holding the creatures out; a shot gun hole open in a victim's upper torso La Spack sees through; a victim hanging upside down, missing a leg; a hand is blown right off the arm; the aforementioned paddle has a large nail at the end that sticks into a victim's forehead, the hole later used to pour blood into a bucket) will produce some moments of minor excitement, but the movie has one of those eye-rolling endings that can't be taken seriously, not to mention, Charlotte is really, really a stupid character (it takes her to get to the *good stuff* but it is really hard for me to sympathize with someone who gets herself into such detrimental situations which could lead to her own undoing, when, in fact, she could escape without too much harm) who makes some mind-numbingly, head-scratching decisions that result in her own personal misery. The movie's over pretty quickly, though, but the opening is slow-going before the plot gets weird and grisly.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Well-directed horror with a good story.
TdSmth513 September 2012
Some alternative/metal type chick named Charlotte is taking a road trip. She gets harassed by bikers and to protect herself picks up a hitchhiker named Max. They take a break at a run-down road stop, when the bikers return. Fortunately, the heavy bartender lady takes out her shotgun and the bikers escape. When Max doesn't return from a bathroom stop and Charlotte can't get any answers she decides to stick around and investigate at night. She meets an old guy who sort of plays cop. He, too is looking for someone.

When Charlotte goes investigating, she's hit in the head and wakes up in a cage in a barn with some other tourist. They're hooked up to a machine that feeds them something and extracts their blood. Then at night they're hung upside down so their blood drips into the ground. And that's when a pack of creatures rises out of the earth to consume the blood and the victims.

But Charlotte gets some help and avoids death. But she still has to find a way out and avoid the creatures.

La Meute is a great understated horror movie. It has a unique, different, and great lead character in Charlotte. Unlike her superficial US counterparts, she is tough and wild for real. First-time director Franck Richard does en outstanding job. This movie, despite limited resources is very compelling. It only has a few characters and you're pretty much stuck in this weird wasted trailer park overseeing some city. But at no point does one get bored. The way it is filmed, every shot is interesting.

Even the story is fascinating and different. The creatures aren't just some pointless creatures, but we do learn about their origins. And the twists in the story keep you engaged till the very end.

This review is of the German DVD version, which is even shorter than the US release for some reason. And on top of that, it's slapped with an NC-17-type rating. German censors/distributors are even more moronic than American. From some scenes in the making-of featurette, I gather this movie is quite bloody. All blood, violence, and gore is edited out in the German version, so I take it this movie is even more horrific in its complete version. Why American distributors chose to edit out 6 minutes I can't imagine. What could the French possibly have filmed that would be so offensive to American fans of horror.

In any case, in this era of globalism, to have all these various edited versions by country is just obnoxious and ridiculous. Perhaps it makes sense for theatrical version, but why with DVDs? I hope that this movie will be released in the US in it's entirety at some point. And I look forward to seeing future horror movies by this director. After an exhilarating start, French horror has been going downhill lately. The Pack is a refreshing and much needed movie that overturn this downward trend.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
I love horror but I can't defend this one.
effactor22 April 2012
First off, I'm sick of "tough girl" lead roles. A cigarette, leather jacket and a sneer is not character development.

As the plot developed it also dragged. I was wondering if it was going to be another "hostel" or similar torture/gore flick. And, I was starting to get annoyed because, I was already bored. Then came the twist of "The Pack" being revealed and it was original. It got my attention and I thought it might pick up.

Problem, every single character in this movie was such an overacted, quirky oddball, that the creatures are underwhelming. There is no prior reference to where they came from in the landscape or on the road traveled. The explanation of them is hastily thrown at you with a few unconvincing news clippings found later. The policeman was just a stupid character in a stupid shirt and according to the films own time line everyone was wearing the same exact clothes for a week (I know its France and that is a possibility). The biker crew was ridiculously awful, especially the one that wouldn't stop giggling. They reacted with the slightest skepticism when told monsters are coming to get them. When the big gory action scene comes you just don't care.

It was a very slow movie. There was not enough script to fill an hour and a half. With a bad, weird dream sequence ending that gives no closure.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
France Takes a Cue From the Saw and Hostel Crowd
gavin69421 October 2012
In the middle of a snowy no man's land, Charlotte Massot (Emilie Dequenne) picks up Max (Benjamin Biolay), a hitchhiker; they stop in a truck-stop restaurant... hilarity ensues.

Trying to define this movie, or even give it a coherent plot, is a bit of a challenge. There are definitely elements of "Saw" or "Hostel" with the torture sequences. But that is not the focus. There are zombies (or something like zombies), but it is not a zombie film. And there are outlaws that conjure up images of "Mad Max", but it is not really like that either. Does this film fit into a category? No. Which, I suppose, is both a compliment and a complaint.

I will say that the film was beautifully shot and the special effects far exceed the low budget American films that come out these days. I am not aware what the budget of this film was, but I am willing to bet it was not nearly the amount it appears to be. The cinematographer and special effects crew deserve every bit of praise heaped on them.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
No thanks, i'll pass...
spyroskonst18 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I like European cinema, i really do. And the producers of french horror/thriller films tend to create excellent atmosphere, effects & acting. This movie has all these i mentioned but, unfortunately nothing more. First 1/3 was interesting and wanted to see more. But as the film progressed i was getting bored, and at the end i couldn't care less about anything and anyone on this film. It lacked scenario and tried so hard to shine from the bunch of its kind, that failed miserably.

pros: as previously written effects, acting, atmosphere. cons: really bad "wannabe good" script, no character development, classic till "bored to death" ending.
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
A French-Fried Failure of a Film
knightox10 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
You know I really got my hopes up for this one when I saw it was a French made horror/supernatural movie. I remembered the magic all those years ago when I first viewed "Brotherhood of the Wolf" and was amazed how good it was. Could this be yet another thriller classic from France?..DRUM ROLL..no. Unfortunately this fluff is poorly directed and acted. The storyline is pitiful and the ending makes you wish you had never wasted 90 minutes of your life watching this slop! First off, Charlotte the main protagonist, is a sort of punk, "rebel without a cause" who is wandering aimlessly in the backroads of rural France. She doesn't have a destination and no explanation is given. She meets some "Road Warrior" wannabes who oogle and make nasty comments at her at a gas station. Later they follow her and she sees a long-haired hippie guy hitchhiking. She decides to pick up this total stranger (maybe for safety?) and for some idiotic reason suddenly TOTALLY trusts him. Soon they are sharing smokes. She's letting him drive. She even goes to sleep. Finally the hippie drives her to his mom's old bar and cafe and that's when everything starts to ugly. Turns out his mama is a crazy old hag who likes to summon the undead, especially ghouls that were former miners. The hippie disappears causing Charlotte to go look for him and of course being the bait he gets her caught. From there the movie is basically torture, blood, torture, death, death, death, death and more death. That's right. Every single character in this film DIES. It makes you wonder why you even wasted your time.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Let down by the ending.
parry_na12 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I suppose it's a bid to assure the teen audience that horror is 'cool', but there seems to be an unwritten rule that films of this genre often have to feature a soundtrack made up of 'college rock' music. This faux-aggressive accompaniment is one of the first things we hear in 'The Pack', but thankfully it is just to let us know the sole heroine Charlotte (Emilie Dequenne) is dark and dangerous. The young man she gets to know Max (Benjamin Biolay) bears an uncanny resemblance to Gollum actor Andy Serkis.

Before too long, Charlotte has been customarily tortured, fed and bled and offered up as a sacrifice to some horrifying, sightless, hairless creatures in boiler-suits, that dwell underground. "I think she'll hold out," muses Le Spack (Yolande Moreau), the mother of the Texas Chainsaw-style family responsible for events.

And that's what the films turns out to be, ultimately. A kind of French mash-up of 'Chainsaw Massacre'/'Wrong Turn' (there's even some hillbilly banjo music towards the end). The nature of the sightless creatures is enigmatic (miners who 'dug too far' underground), and the group of comedy bikers who attempt to save the day are simply … odd.

Ultimately, 'The Pack' is a little disappointing after an intriguing start. It has an illogical ending and features characters with very inconsistent motives. It is, nevertheless, stunning to look at; the locations are very atmospherically shot and drive home a constant sense of grim, cold isolation.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Another Great French Horror
jwoodliff-863-3269047 April 2011
I saw The Pack (La Meute) at celluloid screams horror festival last fall & really enjoyed it , i think Franck Richard did an awesome job and although I've heard critics complain about the film being like 3 different movies which i do agree with , i liked that about it , nobody minded it when Rodriguez did it with From Dusk til Dawn which i must say is 1 of my fave vampire films of all time. I loved the ideas , the gore , the acting , the SFX , the direction , the cinematography , the mood of the film , i loved almost everything about it , the only thing that i would have liked to have been different is the design of the (pack) creatures , they reminded me of the crawlers from The Descent a little but the special make-up effects that brought them to life were great. Overall: I thought this was a great addition to the new wave french horror scene and can't wait for it to be released on DVD on the 4th of July , i will be sure to pick it up 1st thing on that date. Highly recommended especially to French horror lovers like myself. P.S. Can't wait to see what Franck Richard comes up with next
5 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
OK french horror flick.
searchanddestroy-129 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I am not disappointed by this pretty well done horror movie. It's as I was waiting for. A flick that the Americans would never make; especially concerning the end. Perhaps the British, but certainly not the US industry.

It begins like HITCHER, goes on like BREAKDOWN or DYING ROOM ONLY and ends like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. A sort of mixed up of different kind of horror films. The director was inspired by classics. Philippe Nahon and the other actors as Emilie Dequenne and Yolande Moreau give here very impressive performances. Nahon was already in horror movies such as HAUTE TENSION, the first of the french new generation of horror features. And, as in Alexandre Aja's masterpiece, we see the same old van, the Citroën 1200 Kg - called TUBE.

Another reference. Franck Richard, the filmmaker, knows his classics.
3 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
*Almost* a new French horror classic
Coventry7 June 2012
Particularly since the new Millennium, France is by far THE nation to keep under close monitoring when it comes to the release of original, boundary-breaking and downright shocking new movies in the horror genre! They released already a handful of instant classics, like "High Tension", "Inside", "Frontier(s)" and "Martyrs" and a fair bunch of titles that are far more worthwhile to check out than the average American or Asian accomplishments. Naturally, of course, they also have their share of epic failures and the inevitable "close-but-no-cigar" efforts. "The Pack", a co-production with Belgium - would fit right into this last category. Writer/director Franck Richard mixes old and tiresome genre clichés with fresh and courageous ideas, and the overall result is a massively uneven and quirky film. What starts out as a seemingly commonplace rural road horror movie abruptly alters into something unclassifiable; partially survival flick and partially zombie adventure. But not your typical kind of flesh-eating rotten corpses, but more like the pioneering type of zombies as they featured in "White Zombie", "I walked with a Zombie" and "Plague of the Zombies". The sudden change of course I found titillating, but these most fascinating parts of the screenplay are underdeveloped and chaotic. Perhaps Richard shouldn't have wasted his (and our) time with the overlong, dull and derivative first half and should have moved on to the more creative and ingenious plot a lot quicker. But the main issue of "The Pack", according to yours truly at least, lies with the mundane character development and ineffective atmosphere building. Lead chick Charlotte is another headstrong and rebellious feminist on the run for something which we don't know. She picks up a mysterious and not-so-handsome stranger whose silence clearly reveals a hidden agenda. They encounter psychopathic bikers, a creepy corpulent woman owning a ramshackle truck-stop diner and a goofy old guy with a funny T-shirt. These are hardly new and exciting characters to feature in a horror movie and thus you set your expectations quite low from the beginning already. The numerous attempts to insert black humor completely miss their effect and Franck Richard also doesn't make full use of the morbid set pieces and filming locations. The ghouls (and the brief info we receive of their background) compensate for part of the disappointment, though. They're very disturbing and petrifying monsters to behold. They actually look quite Clive Barkeresque, if you ask me. There's some decent acting as well, most notably from Yolande Moreau as "La Spack" and the terrific Philippe Nahon, whom genre fanatics will certainly recognize immediately from "Haute Tension", "Irréversible", "Seul Contre Tous" and "Calvaire".
2 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Unspectacular but Fun
lovecraft2317 March 2012
Rule number I forget in horror: Don't leave someone behind when they've "disappeared". It will come back to haunt you, or the people responsible for his "disappearance" will get you. That's what happens in the French horror film "The Pack."

Charlotte (Emilie Dequenne) picks up a hitchhiker named Max (Benjamin Biolay) and they go to a local truck-stop diner. They running into a gang of degenerate bikers (is there any other kind in movies?), only to have said bikers get scared off by the owner of the restaurant La Spack (Jean-Pierre Jeunet regular Yolande Moreau.) When Max doesn't return after a trip to the bathroom, Charlotte finds herself in the clutches of Spack, who turns out to be Max's mother-and who feeds people to ground dwelling, humanoid flesh eaters.

I won't deny that for what it is, "The Pack" manages to be fun albeit unspectacular. It's got a nasty and welcome streak of black humor that doesn't go overboard into a horror/comedy route, which is kind of refreshing. It's also capably directed, has some good performances (especially from Moreau, who seems to be having a blast as the villain), some decent atmosphere, and some choice gore. Also, Phillipe Nahon shows up wearing a shirt you've probably seen online that says "I F#ck on the First Date", which automatically bumps this up half a star.

However, as I said, the end result feels kind of unspectacular. That's mostly because of the fact that most of this is either predictable or familiar, and none of it is particularly suspenseful or scary. You know from the get go that La Spack is up to no good, what with her threatening the bikers with a gun and coming off as loony. We also get the requisite nods to other, better horror movies, including a near end siege straight of of "Night of the Living Dead" (or if you want to be obscure, Robert Voskanian's sole directorial effort "The Child"), and yet more references to the likes of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." That reminds me: do we really need another visual tribute to the door slamming from that movie?

As it is, "The Pack" is far from a classic, and not in the higher tier of the recent wave of French horror. However, it's disposable, mostly unoffensive fun that's not spectacular but does a good enough job, and would make a fun triple bill with "The Horde" and "Frontier(s)."
2 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Good supporting cast, nice soundtrack. Best thing I can say about this.
nitzanhavoc26 March 2013
After watching "Martyrs" and "The Inside", it's easy to understand why one would dub the French Horror films as the sickest, vilest and most sadistic. The Pack, on the other hand, isn't as shocking or as well-made (well made as opposed to good, as I didn't really like The Inside).

The build up is actually rather nice, regardless to a pretty much non- existent exposition. It starts up as another Torture-Porn/Occult film. Unfortunately everything goes downhill from there. The story is simple and not original, with some details having very non convincing explanations. The screenplay and script are lacking, and the ending seems extremely non related to the plot, leaving the audience not bewildered as much as annoyed and feeling cheated. The cinematography, shooting and effects are simply cheap, making the low budget very apparent. I didn't mind the voldermort's nose looking "monsters", I did mind the painfully obvious and visible masks...

However, I must say the characters were very good and the acting was excellent, especially by the supporting cast (i.e the three bikers). Also, an excellent soundtrack! Do these make the film worth watching? Not really. This is one of the very very very few times when I agree with IMDb's rating. Good looking actresses and fine acting can be found in countless other films, and this one simply isn't good (in my opinion of course).
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
barely worth the effort
hopla6817 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
french (horror) cinema has made a few good films the past years, somehow the Eurostyle filming, the landscape and the violence proved to be a rather stylish mix.

However with a couple of gems the road is clear for sub par stuff floating to the surface, and this movie is one of the latter.

the setup is cliché, girl picks up hitchhiker, hitchhiker disappears , girl investigates and finds more then she bargained for. First the good stuff:

  • Scenery.. yeah take a look at that great gloomy french countryside and you would probably turn into a killer too, or commit suicide, in other words, scenery and photography is great. - the ghouls..or monsters, original make up work, decent back story -the main villain..great acting work


and the bad stuff

  • plot.. come on guys, you got enough in the mix to make this worthwhile, good monsters, even a siege.. but it doesn't connect with each other and the loose elements remain just that..even the big buildup ( illogical but hey) towards the siege amounts to a whimper, blink and it is over. the " twist" ending is pathetic and misses any logic.. Even genre movies need some sort of structure and have to abide by their own logic, this movie doesn't and basically betrays the viewer with the ending.


  • Our main female lead isn't strong enough, this part asks a lot of emotions which she clearly cant handle.


  • the monsters are underused to a degree its an insult, teasing us with images and a couple of minutes of action ( not to mention an intriguing back story).


Getting a cookie for the effort, nothing more.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Fun throwback to 80's Creature Horror ... although a little lacking
SpannersGerm66910 July 2012
On a lonely country road, Charlotte ( a young angry woman ) is travelling in her rusty old car ... clearly running away from something, which is unclear. Along the way she picks up a hitch hiker by the name of Max. Max is a strange man, but Charlotte could use the company. When they stop at a Truck Stop, owned by a woman named "La Spack" , Max mysteriously goes missing when he goes into the mens restroom. When no one else is giving her satisfactory answers concerning his whereabouts, Charlotte decides to investigate further, and unknowingly falls into a trap.

This is another very recent New Wave French Horror that may initially disappoint you to start with, but on second and third viewing, the film comes across as a lot of fun, but not much else. The characters were paper thin, but there were some very memorable performances, in particular, Yolande Moreau as La Spack. A very sinister and unique type of villain. That was one old woman not to be messed with! I loved the costume designs for the creatures, which also brought some fairly decent gore as well! Unfortunately the gore was few and far between and for a film of this nature, it was a little disappointing to see that the bloodbath that was on offer, wasn't as bloody as it could and should have been. The ending is fairly straight forward, which concludes a fairly straight forward film. If you are a French Horror fanatic, such as myself, this one will interest you. If you are just a casual viewer, this movie isn't something you haven't seen all before.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
another French classic
trashgang19 September 2011
France did it again. But this time it isn't a gory brutal flick like the classic French flicks from a few years ago but it does deliver. It's also a good example how merchandising is working. The version that came out in the Benelux has the name Matthias Schoenaerts on it. He's a well known actor and is making it in Hollywood for the moment but be honest, here he is maybe one minute in it and doesn't say anything but a few things. But don't be bothered, if you are a fan of eighties horror then you will love it. The flick do needs it from the actors who are all famous names in France but they surely do deliver the good work in this flick. And naturally the atmosphere made by the houses used makes it up too, the slamming of a metal door, remember Texas Chainsaw, there's a bit of all those classics in it. The blood do flows and it's sometimes even a bit funny with the bikers. And I even recognized a few roads and a tower shot a few hundred meters from where I live. The creatures are something between zombies and evil spirits but are really well done. It is never gory like those other French movies but really one for the buffs out there.
2 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
A for atmosphere, D- for scriptwriting
deacon_blues-330 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
LOL! I have to laugh at the many silly plot holes this movie suffers from, but I will give it points for grizzly humor and a chilling atmosphere. I spent most of the movie questioning why the characters were doing the stupid things they were doing, but what would a horror movie be without a lot of characters doing stupid things that put them within the grasp of some inconceivable horror along the way? The story situations are preposterous, disjointed, and inexplicable for the most part, but there is a serious creepy factor to the film over-all that almost makes it worthwhile (but not entirely). All-in-all, this film has a decent creep-out factor. Also, there is a great joke told by the film's main protagonist in the initial tavern scene.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Well, this wasn't what I would call horror
striddy-21710 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This was a shocker of a movie. Questionable in many parts.

Like lady, WHY WOULD YOU TRUST HIM?? The ending really annoyed me, let's be honest here. LIKE ACTUALLY WHY? AND WHY DON'T YOU JUST LEAVE TE DEAD ZOMBIE THINGS BEHIND AND JUST LEAVE???

For a movie that was this sub-par though, I actually enjoyed it. I laughed for most of the film instead of being fearful. Many plot holes and moments that I didn't really understand the logic of. At the end of this ordeal of movie I was confused of what I had just witnessed.

One of those movies that is so bad you just have to watch it all, one of the movies so bad it stays with you for a while afterward. Despite how stupid I found the entire plot, it is definitely worth a watch

TL;DR= A train wreck of a film, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. Good for a laugh because it isn't much of a horror and it will stay with you for a while afterward.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed