Grey is right! While much of The Grey is set in snow, the prevailing color (and tone) of the 2012 thriller is grey. There’s not much sunlight in The Grey; when it’s daytime, the skies are (you guessed it) grey, reflecting how cold and miserable it is. And the feel of the movie is grey—neither light nor dark, but rather a cold melancholy.
The Grey stars a somber Liam Neeson as John Ottway, a worker with an oil drilling team in Alaska whose primary duty seems to be killing wolves in the area so the drillers can proceed with their work. As the movie starts, Ottway is writing a suicide note to his wife and has a gun barrel in his mouth. Yes, it’s that kind of film.
While he doesn’t go through with it, trouble finds him anyway when the plane the crew is flying home on crashes in a blizzard … and a pack of wolves surround the stranded men.
Things get pretty ugly from there, and the killings and despair are interspersed with heartfelt, somber conversations and Ottway’s flashbacks to his life with his wife. The Grey gets downright spiritual at times as Ottway reflects on philosophic questions of life and death as his apparent doom looms close by—in fact, it was marketed to religious groups, although its rough language and explicit violence certainly don’t make it very friendly for family viewing.
As directed by Joe Carnahan (who also made 2010’s The A-Team reboot), The Grey is a bleak, harsh, sobering viewing experience—terrifying at times, moodily reflective at others. It’s not one to put on if you’re looking for an upbeat, entertaining night in the home theater. And the Blu-ray version, finely produced though it may be, will not provide dazzling color or visuals for optimal high-def viewing. But, if you’re open to affecting drama and have a taste for nature-bred terror, you may find this to be a stirring and memorable film.Buy The Grey (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) on Amazon