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(aka "La Meute" )

 

directed by Franck Richard
France/Belgium 2010

 

Traveling along a lonely stretch of French backwoods to nowhere in particular, Charlotte (Émilie Dequenne, FISSURES/ECOUTE LE TEMPS) picks up hitcher Max (musician Benjamin Biolay). While it's undoubtedly dangerous to pick up hitchhikers, brooding Max seems like a safe bet next to the trio of bikers (Georges Lini, Philippe Résimont, and Brice Fournier) that have threatened both of them with rape. Charlotte is less pleased about Max's decision to pull into the delapidated roadside cafe of La Spack (Yolande Moreau, MICMACS) until she pulls a shotgun on the bikers. Max gets up to use the restroom and never comes back. Charlotte searches the restroom and notices a covered door. After confiding her concerns to retired cop Chinaski (Philippe Nahon, HIGH TENSION), she sneaks back into the cafe in the middle of the night only to be knocked unconscious. She wakes in a cage with two other prisoners who La Spack and her son Max plan to feed to a pack of blind, fanged, subterranean flesh-eating creatures (credited as Golems at Imdb). Meanwhile, Chinaksi has grown suspicious of La Spack and her son and Charlotte may have to join up with the depraved bikers against La Spack and the monsters. For all the effort that went into THE PACK and its good central cast - with the exception of the bland Biolay - the film is a rather slight effort (although it is a mercifully short eighty minutes with about five or six minutes of that consisting of the opening and end credits). After setting itself up as a torture film, it thankfully veers off into the monster movie realm. First time feature director Franck Richard does provide the viewer with some surprises in the second half of the film (Chinaski is not as easily disposable a secondary character as he at first seems, although the reversal involving Max later in the film is less credible). The monsters are well-designed and there is a fair amount of gore (although there is also some CGI blood), but the climactic siege sequence is not particularly exciting. Richard does some interesting things with the sound design during this scene when a gun is fired next to Charlotte's ear, temporarily deafening her, but overall it feels less like a product of the new wave of French horror and more like a calling card to Hollywood. Hopefully, Richard's next film will be something more daring and not a bad American remake of an Asian horror film.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 29 September 2010 (France)

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DVD Review: Icon Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Icon Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:20:39 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.79 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Icon Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• The Artist at Work: Creating THE PACK (16:9; 2:05)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:05)
• Start-up trailer for THE RESIDENT (16:9; 1:46)

DVD Release Date: July 4th, 2011
Amaray

Chapters 8

 

Comments

Icon's transfer is a single-layer, progressive, anamorphic transfer of a film (shot in HD with a Sony CineAlta camera) that likely underwent heavy secondary color correction to achieve its derivative desaturated look. Some depth in the original photography may have also been sacrificed to this augmentation. The opening credits look a tad fuzzy, but that may be conceptual (some shallow-focus insert shots also seem to have had their backgrounds digitally defocused).

The feature occupies 3.42 GB of the 3.84 total. The English subtitles are burnt-in and feature no noticeable grammatical or spelling errors. "The Artist at Work" is not a behind-the-scenes segment for the film, but a making-of for Graham Humphries' newly-commissioned UK artwork for the film. A start-up trailer for Hammer's THE RESIDENT precedes the main menu.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Icon Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

 




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