Sorry for the short recess, but somehow, I lost all my drive to continue my /slash reviews. As much fun as it can be to bitch and rant about a movie that you didn’t like, if you’re writing one disappointed review after another, it drains you, and can get quite tiresome. Hence it took a while for me to psych myself up again. However, with the Viennale fast approaching, I feel the need to finally wrap up my /slash reviews, so without further ado, lets look at yet another disappointing film of this years festival.
If there’s one thing that I have to hold in “The Pack”‘s favor, it’s that while it is an almost complete failure, it at least is an entertaining failure. There’s some perverse fun to be had with a movie that fails so completely to achieve what it wants to achieve, and that plays it straight without ever noticing how ludicrous it actually is. The /slash-crowd was constantly complaining and/or making fun of the movie, and thus, the screening actually was kinda fun. However, given the fact that all entertainment that I got out of it was totally unintentional, I have a hard time actually crediting the movie and its participants for it. One of its biggest failures is the depiction of the attacking wild dogs. While the movie is called “The Pack” and it’s stated in the movie that they hunt in packs, they actually only do so once, when they attack the policemen. The reason for that is perfectly obvious: If they actually would have hunted as a pack, those bloody humans (especially this inane bunch) wouldn’t have stood a chance. Over and over and over again, the wild dogs have to act against their nature in order for the family to survive. They mostly hunt alone, and very often, they miss a chance to attack their prey in order to lurk about or to bare their teeth instead. Which doesn’t really fit the movie’s depiction of then as wild, bloodthirsty animals.
There are so many scenes where the dogs actually should have made short work of their intended prey. It already starts at the beginning of this fateful night, when Adam runs out of the woods, hunted by them. Since they’re obviously way faster than him, they already would have had the chance to rip him apart, but I guess it was more important for them to frighten him and send him back to his house. Later, one of them prefers to sneak past Carla and her children while they’re standing in the doorway, instead of simply attacking them then and there. And so on. Not that the family is any more intelligent than the wild dogs who are chasing them. For example, in order to get their kids out of harms way, Carla puts them into a cupboard, so that the dogs won’t see them. That the dogs still should be able to smell them seems to slip her mind; then again, she’s only a vet, so why would she know anything about animals, right? (In all fairness, the dogs of “The Pack” actually seem to be devoid of any sense of smell, so I guess she knows more about them than me after all!) Later on, instead of simply closing the door and entrapping one of them in the basement, she prefers to go down there to check it out. And let’s not forget the scene where she lays aside the knife! Other things like the totally unnecessary mortgage-scene at the beginning, “Chekov’s tunnel”, or the unintentionally funny scene of her swinging the torch pale in comparison, but nevertheless add to the overall sense of incompetence and stupidity. Add to that the fact that the ending of the movie was totally predictable (and disappointing), as well as the incredibly clichéd final “It’s not over yet!”-shot, and I have to conclude that “The Pack” is a real dog’s breakfast of a movie.