Two Jews on Film - By Joan Alperin Schwartz: It takes a lot for a film to truly scare me. I mean, after seeing hundreds and hundreds of movies featuring, knife wielding masked maniacs, cannibalistic nuclear families preying on hot teenage girls and demon possessed embryos, I've become kind of blasé about the horror genre.
So many horror films are durative of one another. But I'm happy to say this is definitely not the case with 'The Grey' directed by Joe Carnahan ('Narc', 'The A Team') and starring the very tall and always excellent, Liam Neeson.
The story is simple. A group of super macho oil workers, including the heartbroken, slightly suicidal, Ottway (Liam Neeson) are travelling to a work site when their plane crashes in the remote Alaska wilderness. By the way this is a very realistic plane crash. I found myself grabbing the arm of the stranger sitting next to me. Luckily he didn't mind. Anyway...
The survivors must find a way back to civilization before they either freeze to death or die of starvation.
Unfortunately, besides the cold (and it's really, really cold) and lack of food, they have...one other...not so small problem...Wolves...Big, Bad, Vicious, Ugly, fierce, red eyed...Wolves.
These furry, grey creatures are extremely pissed off. Seems the humans have invaded their territory and to the wolves...this is means war.
These are cunning, determined animals and here's where the really scary part comes in.
When the men and the audience least expect it, the wolves...Well, I'm not going to tell you. Don't want to spoil the fun. And yes, 'The Grey' is fun. It's also horrific and totally terrifying.
What makes 'The Grey' not just another typical survival film is the excellent script. The film is written by Carnahan and Ian MacKenzie Jeffers and they've created some really interesting characters.
At first, the men hide behind their macho facade, going out of their way not to show any fear. But as the story progresses, their facades peel away and we get to see what's really underneath.
The supporting cast including, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Nonso Anozie, Joe Anderson, Ben Bray and James Badge Dale are all excellent.
The wolves are a combination of giant puppet animatronics, CGI and real ones... that are trained of course.
Make sure you stay past the credits... there's a surprise you don't want to miss.
I gave 'The Grey' 4 and 1/2 bagels out of five. Check out our video to hear John's wolf imitation and to see how many bagels he gave this film.
'The Grey' opens in theatres, Friday January 28, 2012. Don't miss it.