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The Pack: Welcome to canine hell

Film

Life on the land is hard for the Wilson family. The bank is threatening foreclosure on their isolated rural property, teenage daughter Sophie is becoming a handful and an unknown predator is slowly eating its way through their livestock.

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When the threat comes to their door in the form of a pack of wild dogs, the family must band together to survive a night of blood-filled terror.

With nowhere to run and no sign of help, the hunter becomes the hunted in this movie, which puts a dark new spin on “man’s best friend”.

Directed by Nick Robertson, The Pack is a taut suspense film which stars Jack Campbell (best known for his role as Doctor Steve Taylor in All Saints) as Adam Wilson, the father desperately trying to keep his farm afloat. Anna-Lise Phillips plays Adam’s loving but obviously stressed wife Carla, Katie Moore delivers a strong performance as spoilt teenage daughter Sophie, and Hamish Phillips completes the cast as the Wilson’s young son Henry.

Shot in South Australia’s McLaren Vale region, the film features stunning wide shots of rolling green paddocks and winding dirt roads, and is set on the grounds of a sprawling traditional country homestead (below) which perfectly captures the beauty of rural Australia.

A combination of clever special effects, live animals and puppetry brings the fearsome wild dogs to life and they are certainly not the type of pooch you want off a leash. Despite being the film’s primary “villains”, the pack is rarely shown in full; instead, Robertson builds tension by hiding the animals in shadows and offering audiences only a glimpse of a passing tail or snarling mouth – the sight of which is enough to incite an intense feeling of dread.

Often, you do not know where the animals are until it’s too late and the film achieves many heart-stopping scares with this clever technique.

Backed by the SA Film Corporation and produced by Kent Smith (Kojo) and Michael Robertson (Prodigy), The Pack is an enjoyable thriller which has audience members on the edge of their seats.

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