13th Mar2016

VOD Vault #1 – You Are Not Alone / The Pack

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to the first in a new weekly feature here on Nerdly, VOD Vault – where we’ll be casting our eye over a wealth of direct to market releases that are available on video on demand/streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, iTunes etc.; furthering our remit to champion those little-seen and under-publicised movies that debut direct to DVD and VOD in the UK – god knows there are enough of them released each and every week!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

you-are-not-alone

Stars: Krista Dzialoszynski, Keenan Camp, Nikki Pierce | Directed by Derek Mungor

With school finally over, college graduate Natalie Wilner returns to her hometown to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend. But beneath the flags and fireworks lurks a dark, malevolent figure. After a night of drunken parties, she stumbles home and drifts off to sleep, only to be woken moments later by a loud knock on the door…

You Are Not Alone is a movie that has me torn. On the one hand the idea of a first person slasher movie is a good one and it’s used (eventually) to great effect. On the other hand, director Derek Mungor takes an age to get to any interesting horror-based action! The film spends over half, almost 60 minutes, of its already short 92 minute runtime just following the protagonist Natalie around her home town before we get to anything remotely creepy and sinister. And what we (given that the audience is literally in Natalie’s shoes) then do experience is little more than masked men running round chasing us set to an off-key piano soundtrack!

Spending most of the time wandering around the woods and/or getting stoned with two of Natalie’s friends, one of whom looks remarkably like the host of YouTube show Lazy Game Reviews, You Are Not Alone completely wastes an exciting premise, leaving the audience with nothing but disappointment.

You Are Not Alone is available now on DVD and VOD from Sharp Teeth Film.

THE PACK

the-pack

Stars: Anna Lise Phillips, Katie Moore, Kieran Thomas McNamara, Jack Campbell | Directed by Nick Robertson

What’s that? A new Aussie horror movie? About a pack of wild killer dogs? I’m in! The Pack is set on a remote farm in Southern Australia, where hardened farmer Adam Wilson discovers the last of his livestock have been mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs. His dreams of keeping the family business going are shattered, but nothing can prepare him for what will happen next. You see, as night falls the feral pack of dogs begin to circle the farmhouse. With a taste for fresh blood, they launch their attack, stopping at nothing to get inside the house!

What ever happened to the killer dog movie? When I was a teenager the local video seemed to be full of them… From the uber-famous Stephen King adaptation Cujo, to less well-known fair such as Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (a film whose title has stuck with me to this very day), there used to be a great market for this particular brand of nature-run-amuck movies. But since 1993′s Man’s Best Friend it seems to have been all-quiet on the killer dog front; well apart from the ridiculous Wes Craven produced flick The Breed.

However jump forward to this week and we have a new film to add to the small list of “devil dog” movies, The Pack – from the producers of  2013′s The Reef, the superb Aussie true-story shark movie – although this movie is rooted firmly in the fantastical. Frankly, god help us all if this one was based on a true story! This time round directorial duties are left to first-timer Nick Robertson who, despite some lapses in logic and some overly-drawn out scenes, manages to successfully ramp up the tension, making his mutts (all of whom are real – no CGI or puppetry here) look absolutely terrifying in the process!

For those that don’t mind a bit of man-versus-animal violence (I known how sensitive some folks are to animal cruelty these days), The Pack is a fantastic new entry into the killer dog pantheon. The film is available now on DVD and VOD from Arrow Films.
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Well we’re only at the first entry in the VOD Vault and I’d say a 50/50 split isn’t THAT bad for a week in the DTV doldrums, with The Pack providing some decent horror-filled entertainment this time round. Join us next week for another look at all things direct to market…

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