I get excited when the words “French” and “Horror” are used in the same sentence. During the last decade, the French have put out some of the best horror around (Haute Tension, Inside, Irreversible, Martyrs, etc). So, when the opportunity came to see the latest horror flick from the land where all the girls I know spent a semester during college; I jumped at the chance, eager for a little déjà vu.
Regrettably, this is one of the weakest entries, hey; at least they still have delicious wine. The Pack suffers from “Are we really supposed to believe that-itis” which, as you know, occurs when random things that, even with belief suspended well above normal levels, make no sense. And this film packs in plenty of those moments – The coup de grâce being the entire third act.
While driving across rural France, Charlotte picks up a hitchhiker. The two share some banter and then stop off at a La Spack, a crappy roadside diner that is decorated like it belongs on Route 66 in the U.S. Some bikers try to get their rape on with Charlotte and the hitchhiker, but the restaurant owner thwarts them with the threat of shotgun blasts to the chest. Moments later the hitchhiker disappears and Charlotte decides she should hang around and try to find out where he went. Bad move. Turns out the restaurant owner keeps more than one kind of beef in the cellar. Charlotte being the latest catch. This would be known as the torture/survival part of the film.
Switching gears, the The Pack moves into the ghoul/supernatural section of the film. The mythology is the strongest suit (by far) and one of the more interesting concepts to come along in while. Ghouls that live in the ground come out when blood is spilled on their hallowed ground. Finally, the movie gets really interesting and tense. These ghouls are freaky, gross, and nearly unstoppable.
Then the film movies into the final act, which makes no sense. I won’t spoil it, but a series of rapid-fire stupid events take place so close together that everything the film built up to at that point (which was a considerable amount of goodness) is ruined. The end is absolutely one of the dumbest things imaginable (along with not making sense). It’s like the filmmakers took all the potential endings they could think of and mashed them in there. Ça ne me plaît pas, not one bit (two semesters of French paying off right there). I really hope that for the DVD release of the film the end is re-cut. If it is, this will stand as a great survival/zombie/ghoul/supernatural film. If not, major dud.
La Meute provides a unique mix of horror genres, but does so with rather poor execution. What’s that phrase? C’est la vie.
Snore Factor: ZZ (Really good, then really bad)
Trailer (in French – No subs)