High Five This week’s theme: Wild attacks

 The Grey (2012)

High Five This week’s theme: Wild attacks

The film, based on a story Ghost Walker by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers, begins with John Ottway (Liam Neeson) who is employed by an oil drilling firm in Alaska to terminate wolves in the nearby area. After their job is over, the plane in which the team is travelling crashes during a blizzard. Under Ottway’s leadership, (which is resented by a team member who doubts Ottway’s capabilities) the stranded men try to avoid being attacked by a pack of grey wolves and get as far away from the wolf den, since wolves are very territorial. To compound their problems, the team also has to combat starvation and the biting cold. So to what extent their struggle for survival bears fruit is what the movie is all about. The movie is very well shot and manages to keep the tension crackling till the very end.

Burning Bright (2010)

High Five This week’s theme: Wild attacks

After the death of her mother, a young woman (Kelly) and her autistic younger brother (Tom) are faced with a daunting future. The money which was set aside by her dying mother, for her further education and Tom’s hospital treatment, has been used up by her stepfather (John). In a bid to set up a safari ranch and make some easy money, John buys a tiger, with an evil reputation, from a circus. In view of an incoming hurricane, John has the house boarded up. So the young woman and her autistic brother are at the mercy of the tiger that is out of its cage and which begins to hunt them. Watch the dangerous (big) cat-and mouse game in the backdrop of the obsession of some persons to possess exotic wild animals such as tigers, lions, pythons, etc, and the result of such an act.

Black Water (2007)

High Five This week’s theme: Wild attacks

Grace, husband Adam, her sister Lee and guide Jim decide to go to the mangroves for a spot of fishing without realising that they will be doing so in troubled waters. The initially calm and placid mangroves hide a chilling reality. After getting to a particular spot, Jim suggests that they go even deeper into the mangroves where they could get a better catch. The initial signs of danger, when their aluminium boat is attacked from under water by an unseen massive crocodile, are ignored. In the next attack, the boat is turned over and the croc begins taking them out one-by-one and the survivors (who had initially climbed up a tree and wanted to wait for a rescue team) try their best to escape. A particularly chilling scene is one where the massive croc, large jaws agape, jumps out of the water and tries to drag Grace down from the tree. The film, based on real events, was filmed in the mangroves of Australia.

Open Water (2003)

High Five This week’s theme: Wild attacks

An American couple (Daniel and Susan) feel that they need a much-needed break from their hectic pace of work. They later decide to go with a scuba diving group in the Great Barrier Reef but are left behind by mistake. When they return to the surface, their boat has already left. They decide to wait at the same spot but fail to realise, till later, that they are drifting away due to the ocean current. But this is not all that the couple has to contend with; they also have to combat hunger, exhaustion, and are surrounded by sharks. The film, unlike Jaws, used real sharks making it all the more chilling. A particularly chilling scene is one where the exhausted wife goes to sleep and on waking realises that her husband has drifted away from her. This is a great thriller and makes even the vast expanse of ocean in its many vibrant hues and shades look scary.

 Savage Harvest (1981)

High Five This week’s theme: Wild attacks

Following a drought, a family in Africa is surrounded by a pride of lions. The sense of ever-present danger felt by the family, since they are unable to make contact with the outside world, is palpable. Some particularly chilling scenes (among the many in the film) are where a young African girl is being ripped apart by a lioness on a tennis court in the presence of a young girl and another where an unsuspecting visitor is attacked and then run down by some male lions. On seeing the film, based on reality, one wonders how some of these dangerous scenes were shot. This movie is a winner on many counts, the script, its pace and how the chilling attacks are interspersed with the attempts of the family to escape from the house, which is no longer safe from the marauding lions.

R. Srinivasan

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