At the mercy of the pack
MOVIE REVIEW: The Grey
HAVE you ever been bitten by a vicious dog? No? Had you been I'm sure you would not want to go through the same experience ever again. Now imagine being bitten by a wolf. Imagine its rake-long and piercing teeth eating you away.
That's what happens in The Grey when a plane crashes in a blizzard on the way out of Alaska and for the pack of wolves dinner is served.
So don't watch The Grey if you have a fragile heart and that's fair warning. But then, if you don't mind taking it for a chest-pounding ride and your intentions are to take a short left to hell, paradise, limbo or heaven - depending on how big a pile your sins are - be my guest.
I survived it - barely - and that's because I have a clean bill of health and that's not a coincidence. The Grey, starring Liam Neeson as the suicidal John Ottway, has blood and death stamped all over it.
The narrative is scintillating and builds up slowly while maintaining a snail-like pace (until the wolves go on an offensive), which means you pay attention to the movie's every little detail, nuance and dialogue.
The response you're most likely to resort to will be gasping when the wolves start tearing into human flesh - at great speed - in the middle of ice-covered and brutally cold Alaska.
Interestingly for Ottway (Neeson) facing up to these canines is not new - his job is to kill them before they can try their luck on the contracted oil drillers. Ottway is, by default, the last man standing.
Strangely, a few moments earlier he had a gun cocked into his mouth and his hand on the trigger and he had already written a suicide note to his estranged wife Anna (Anne Openshaw).
But when he wakes up and sees the dead and maimed bodies of fellow workers who were on their way home, he has a new reason to live: to encourage the survivors to keep the faith and stay alive.
Oh yes, as is usually the case in such films, those who panic or talk too much die first, and violently so. The wolves are sneaky and you'll certainly shake or jump from your seat when they sneak up on Ottway and company, and it's not a pretty sight.