80 minutes| France| 2010| Colour

Travelling alone through a snowy hinterland, Charlotte (Emilie Dequenne) picks up amiable hitchhiker Max (Benjamin Biolay) after a passing motorcycle gang gives her cause for concern; before long, her new-found buddy has disappeared, whereupon matters take a turn for the deeply unpleasant, nee undead … which is when the real fun begins. The French have been wowing us of late with one uncompromising horror entry after another: their latest wow is a nasty little Gallic zombie flick from first-timer Franck Richard, boasting a nice line in black humour and a killer cast that includes genre icon Philippe Nahon, from Switchblade Romance and (unforgettably) Gasper Noe’s I Stand Alone. Short, sharp and shocking, once The Pack really puts the foot down, talented director Richard piles on the visceral thrills – emphasising the viscera – all the way to a nihilistic finale. An intense performance from leading lady Dequenne (from Brotherhood of the Wolf) gives the grim proceedings an additional emotional charge. Note: never trust friendly lady truck stop owners!

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