18 April 2011 | DemiRonin
Dog Pound locks you in, throws away the keys, then squeezes until bones crack
*Note I did not see the original 1979 french Film "Scum" by Alan Clarke
Dog Pound follows three teenagers as they are incarcerated into the Enola Vale correctional facility. One is a easy going drug dealer, the other a Chicano youth stealing cars, and the last is a simply soul filled with rage. From day one they find that fitting into the prison social structure is just as brutal as at adult prison. Contained In the grey walls are cold and robotic security officers, a tiered ranking system between inmates and even an underground drug commerce.
Dog pound is not the simple a-b-c plot line but a series of encounters that build up to some remarkable moments of violence. In between the violence are openings into the vulnerable sides of some of the characters but those are small carrots in a mostly dreary cage of concrete and metal.
Violence like the kind found in Dog Pound comes from a extremely raw place. This film has a fantastic sense of realism but without the overdose of handle held camera that many directors use as a crutch. Also the music adds a great touch to the sort of depressing and monotonous atmosphere. After each terrifying disaster occurs the ghostly music comes in and you're reminded that these moments of horror are simply the norm of prison life.
If you looking for good performances you'll find them here. Each kid does a great job of portraying both helplessness and the heart of a defier. This film is extremely well done in all aspects and I hope it finds its way to audiences. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for Kim Chapiron's next project.
Who this film is not for: -Children -Viewers who don't like dark films