The Grey

Sound design is an element of filmmaking that gets overlooked by moviegoers. Many people don’t realize that if the sound effects in a movie are ineffective then they will probably not enjoy the movie. When people talk about the new movie, “The Grey”, they will probably talk about how good Liam Neeson was in it, how well it was directed by Joe Carnahan, how scary and real the wolves looked that were provided by Greg Nicotero and his team at KNB, but it is doubtful many people will talk about Bob Kellough and his sound design work on “The Grey”.

The story of “The Grey” is about a small group of oil-rig roughnecks who survive a crash in the Alaskan wilderness. While they may have survived the crash, their problems are far from over. Besides having to deal with the blizzard-like elements, the group is also being hunted by a pack of wolves. Think of the 1993 movie “Alive” and put it on steroids and you’ll have a better understanding of “The Grey”.

Returning to Bob Kellough and his sound design on “The Grey”; one reason why it is successful is that you can actually hear the cold. When you hear the wind blow, you can almost tell in what direction it is heading. If the management of the movie theater decided to turn up the air conditioning just a little more during a showing of “The Grey”, audience members would probably feel like they are out there in Alaska. That is the sign of a good sound design.

As stated earlier, there are a lot of other good aspects to “The Grey”. Liam Neeson re-teams with his A-Team director, Joe Carnahan and it is looking that these two have made another good movie. Of course, this movie is nothing like their last one. “The Grey” is terrifying and intense. There are plenty of “jump out of your seat” scares in this movie. Plus, the story of these men being stranded in that freezing wasteland, knowing that they could be torn apart by those huge wolves is enough to grab your attention throughout the whole movie.

“The Grey” may not be for everyone. For starters, while there is some good action in the movie, it is not about Liam Neeson getting into fist fights with a wolf every five minutes. The movie does take the time for character development too. If you don’t get to know these characters you probably won’t care if they get eaten by a wolf or if they freeze to death. Some may find those parts of the movie “boring”.

Did anyone foresee Liam Neeson becoming a full-fledged action hero?  Well, that’s what he has become. He is also making wise choices in that all his movies do not feel like they are carbon copies of the other movies he has made.

If you are looking to have more frightening time at the movies this weekend, “The Grey” is the movie for you. It is rated R for language and graphic violence.