Once again, “The Pack” is another in a long line of modern horror films that feel as if they were once written for the late seventies. Nick Robertson’s horror thriller is a very stripped down and simplistic survival thriller that packs in enough excitement and suspense to compensate for the lack of plot. “The Pack” is a combination of a home invasion thriller, and a nature run amok movie, where a seemingly normal family of four is attacked by a pack of large black wolves that arrive out of the wilderness of the Australian outback one night. The wolves are large and powerful as well as relentless, making the fight for survival absolutely intense.
The Wilson family are going through their troubles, as dad Adam finds out their farm is about to be foreclosed on. This creates familial tension, especially with daughter Sophie who wants to move to the city and be among actual people for once. Suddenly the pack of wild wolves burst from the woods and begin terrorizing the family, causing them to look for a way out of their farm and in to civilization. This proves to be more difficult than they could ever imagine, since they have no radio contact with the outside world, and any efforts from local authorities to rescue them results in the wolves literally tearing apart anyone that enters the threshold. A good amount of “The Pack” is built around the family spread apart and looking for a way to outwit and outmatch the wolves.
Their hunger is insatiable making them vicious and powerful in their pursuit. Robertson films some really tight and intense moments of evasion, as the characters hide in corners and small rooms trying to stay as quiet as possible while they devise a route out of the farm without being mauled. Though the budget obviously keeps us from seeing a full on attack by the wolves every minute, director Robertson works well with the limitations, making the wolves feel almost supernatural at times. Many of the best moments feature our characters making wise moves while the deck is stacked against them with these fierce clever monsters, and I was rooting for this family until the very end.
Though the final scene is a bit goofy for its blatant way of leaving the door open for a follow up, “The Pack” is a very good survival thriller and one I could definitely re-watch. The blu-ray from Scream Factory and IFC Midnight features an eight minute “Making Of” focusing on the dogs in the film, and how they worked with them, along with typical interviews about working with the director. There’s also the original theatrical trailer.