In The Pack, man’s best friend becomes his worst nightmare when a horde of bloodthirsty wild dogs descends upon a family’s farmhouse. In a remote stretch of the Australian Outback, a sheep rancher (Jack Campbell), his veterinarian wife (Anna Lise Phillips), and their two teenage children live in bucolic isolation — until a horrifying night when a pack of fang-baring, four-legged, rabid beasts besiege their home. With no one around to help them, the family must band together to survive — or else become canine kibble. Generating a steadily mounting sense of dread, The Pack cleverly toys with genre conventions before it goes in for the kill.
I just love when a first time filmmaker makes his way into a big feature film and just nails the production, filming, and story. I particularly love it when the film is in the horror genre, because the film industry needs more original horror films that are done well. Nick Robertson is this particular newcomer to film with 'The Pack' being his first and only credit that I know of. After viewing this horror film about killer dogs, I'd say that Robertson has a long career in film, judging by this movie alone.
This first-time filmmaker has made an engaging and thrilling film that is straight to the point without any meandering along the way. The cast turns in excellent performances and he uses his camera and small budget to film the dog attacks perfectly that keeps the suspense high and scary at all times. For you gore hounds, Robertson adds a good amount of blood and gore with each death.
'The Pack' is a great first entry for Robertson and should even keep the most seasoned horror fans on the edge of their seat, even if the premise sounds ridiculous on paper. The thing is, Robertson just nails each aspect of filmmaking here to make this a satisfying piece of horror. 'The Pack' could reference a group of killer dogs or even a family who bands together to survive the night. Adam and Carla Wilson (Jack Campbell and Anna Lise Phillips) are a married couple, living on the countryside with their two kids Sophie (Katie Moore), a rebellious teen, and Henry (Hamish Phillips), a curious and quiet young boy.
Adam and Carla's relationship isn't all roses and lollipops these days, due to the bank wanting to foreclose on their house and Carla's vet business not doing well. Their relationship has definitely taken a toll on their kids and the family looks to be falling apart. That is until a pack of killer dogs starts circling the house and trying to kill them, which has the family form a close bond to survive. Nobody is safe. Not even the police or neighbors. Robertson has framed his film in a claustrophobic manner with narrow halls and tight closets to hide from the killer dogs that it's almost as scary to be trapped in a small place as it is to be ripped apart by man's best friend.
All of the performances are very believable and spot on, in which you really root and relate to them. The attacks are vicious and brief, leaving you wanting more and guessing where the next attack will be. 'The Pack' is one horror film you'll have a lot of fun with and will make you question your pet dog.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'The Pack' comes with a 25GB Blu-ray Disc from Scream Factory and is Region A Locked. There is no digital download code here, but there is a slightly different reversible cover art. The disc itself is housed in a hard, blue plastic case.
'The Pack' comes with a 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The whole film is fairly dark in each scene. I wouldn't say anything is too bright or striking in the movie with the exception of a few items. This doesn't hinder the detail though, as everything looks quite vivid and sharp, even in the darkest of moments. Individual hairs can be seen on the killer dogs and on the actor's faces nicely. The makeup effects and wounds and even the sheep's wool look great, both in closeups and and in wider shots.
Textures in the wardrobe and and on the props in the country house look weathered and realistic. Colors look good, but vague, because of the dark tone to the film. Red pops out, but other than that, the film has a decaying feel to it. There also seems to be a green tint to certain scenes in the film too. Black levels are mostly deep and inky and the skin tones are natural if not a tiny bit pale. There are some video noise issues, but there are no problems with any other compression issues to speak of. This is a solid video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and really gets to the meat and bone of this horror film. The sound effects of the killer dogs ripping flesh, howling, and growling are intense and loud. The directionality here is quite good and at times feel like these killer beasts are in your viewing room, surrounding you. Ambient noises of nature and other dogs sound good.
The score always adds to the suspense of the film without drowning out any other noise. The sub woofer does a good job here too, packing a punch in the heavier action beats. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, without any pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills, leaving this audio presentation with decent marks.
The Making of 'The Pack' (HD, 8 Mins.) - There are some cast and crew interviews and a lot of discussion of using the dogs and their training for the film.
Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
'The Pack' is a great first film from director Nick Robertson. The film packs suspense, thrills, and blood throughout and wastes no time on silly storylines. It's straight and to the point with the horror and seclusion of this family being hunted by killer dogs. It's very effective. The video and audio presentations are both good and the only real extra is fun to watch and mostly about the canine actors. Recommended.