Nature Porn – The Grey

Today I’m going to introduce you to a new genre of film, Nature Porn. It isn’t really new. It’s existed at least back to 1993’s Alive and was seen in last year’s 127 Hours and The Way Back, but the latest example is in the newest Liam Neeson action movie The Grey.

Nature Porn is not a simple man versus nature movie. In that genre there is some romance between man and the wild. Nor is this the type of movie that shows a person fornicating with a tree, that would be tree porn. 

Nature Porn is a movie where nature coldly and calculatingly screws man. As an audience member it makes you want to have nothing to do with nature. Nature porn terrifies you with the perils of the great outdoors, so much that you won’t feel safe taking a walk in your local park without a fleece jacket, a sharp knife, and Liam Neeson by your side.

Liam Neeson in his old age has become cinema’s top action star. Like Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson before him this is not due to bulging muscles, but the ability to speak the most ridiculous tough guy dialogue without the hint of a smile or a sense of irony. The Grey shows Neeson leading a group of plane crash survivors through the bitter freezing cold, down a hundred foot cliff, and into fights with a ferocious pack of wolves. Neeson gives his directions with such conviction that you think his castmates would be fools not to listen to him, even though in hindsight his leadership only gets them into more trouble.

And what trouble he gets them into. The characters in The Grey find themselves in some of the most horrific situations you can imagine, being eaten alive by a hungry wolf, falling into a freezing cold river, and bonding over vulnerabilities with their fellow man. The Grey thus fulfills the requirements of Nature Porn by putting the audience on the edge of their seats while causing a sick, nauseating feeling in the pits of stomachs. The Grey turns man so much against nature that on the next beautiful day instead of going outside, you will instead close the blinds and watch a double feature of Cast Away and Jeremiah Johnson.

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One thought on “Nature Porn – The Grey

  1. A few other nature porn movies of note, The Edge with Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins is a fun one to watch. One I’ve seen recently is Frozen. In this one three skiiers get stuck over the weekend on a ski lift, having to endure the elements and wolves for survival. It was actually very gut wrenching at times.

    Although it might not be nature porn, The River Wild is a favorite as both the heroine and the bad guys have to endure the raging white waters to come through their ordeal. I love rafting, so this is an especially fun one for me.

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