E: Eight Below #AToZChallenge


Movie Name: Eight Below
Language: English
Genre: Survival Drama
Cast: Paul Walker, Jason Biggs
Director: Frank Marshall
Year Of Release: 2006

What it is about:



Jerry Shepard is a guide at an Antarctica research base working with the National Science Foundation. When a UCLA professor, Dr. Davis McClaren, arrives at the base, he forces Shepard to take him to Mount Melbourne to find a rare meteorite from Mercury. Shepard decides that the only way to get to Mount Melbourne is by dog sled and takes his dog team of eight, comprising of lead dog Maya, Old Jack, Shorty, Dewey, Truman, Shadow, Buck, and the young Max and leaves to Mount Melbourne. Due to an approaching heavy storm, they decide to return to base camp immediately. The two battle hypothermia and frostbite and intense conditions as the dogs lead them home. Once they return to base camp, the human crew is almost immediately evacuated. Shepard is hesitant to leave without the dogs, but when the pilot assures Shepard that they will soon return for them, he leaves. But due to severe harsh weather conditions, no rescue can be attempted to rescue the dogs, and the eight are left below in the cold, to fend for themselves.

With the intention of having them rescued soon, Shepard has left them tied to ensure that they are not scattered when the team comes for them. After spending two weeks without food and water, seven of them break free except for Old Jack who stays behind. The dogs try to survive on their own, first together and then situations separate them. They have been on on their own for close to six months now. Will they survive? What will Shepard do when he is informed that no one has gone back for his precious eight? Will he risk his life going back just for the eight dogs?

What I loved about it:

Okay, I'm going to be honest here. From the scene where the dogs were left behind, I did not stop crying. Especially when they show the number of days they've been on their own at regular intervals. It starts with 'Two weeks on their own' and goes on until 'Six months on their own'. With no human for comfort or help, these dogs just stick together and try to survive in the best way they know. With only ice and nothing else around, they way they look out for each other is astonishing. When Maya is injured, the pack stays by her side in spite of being starved, exhausted and frozen. They just lie down next to their captain as the snow piles all around them. This scene has me bawling out like a baby every time I watch the movie. As I type this, I find myself crying again just thinking of that beautiful heartfelt scene.


Every dog lover must watch this movie. Actually every human should. It teaches you about love, togetherness and survival. It is a tearjerker alright, but in a beautiful sensitive way. I don't know how they shot this movie, with the dogs acting so brilliantly. The anticipation in their eyes as they wait for someone to come for them breaks something within you. Paul Walker is really good as Shepard, the man who cannot do without his team of eight dogs. His emotions elevate the already emotional movie. The climax of this movie is my favorite and I was crying, smiling and clapping, all at the same time.

Dogs, I tell you. What have we ever done to deserve them?

Runners-up: The Elephant Man (English), ET (English), Erin Brockovich (English).

This post is a part of the A To Z Challenge for April, where my theme for this year is Movies I Love.

14 comments:

  1. Soumya, just like you have seen The dead poet's society 15 times, I have seen Eight below...almost 15 times, and yet can watch it everyday, if I can! This movie, along with Hachiko, features among the top ten fav movies of mine!

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    1. Shilpa Gupte.. was just thiking about you when I was reading this post. And here you are having watched it 15 times :))

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    2. Oh Shilpa, this is one of the best movies about dogs! The emotions kill me every time.

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  2. Oh, I have watched this long back and have cried and cheered for these furry bundles of love. True, it is a MUST Watch for all dog lovers. Am going to check this one on Netflix and would watch it again. Thanks for sharing about this fabulous movie, Soumya!

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    1. Such a lovely movie, Shilpa. I'm glad you've seen it :)

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  3. Why haven't I even heard of this movie? I am going to watch it this weekend. Pucca! Thanks for the recommendation, Soumya.
    Exercise for Dogs
    Eggs On Toast

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  4. I cried so much when the dogs get hurt and their affection for each other is just amazing to watch. Its one movie I find difficult to watch again as I lost a pet and this is just tough for me to see.

    Harry Potter by JK Rowling #atozchallenge

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    1. I was bawling when Maya gets injured. It broke my heart. I found it very difficult to watch it too since I've witnessed the loss of a pet too. But after a few years, watching the eight made it feel like they are a part of me.

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  5. HAve watched this movie long back, and dont quite remember much of it. Must watch again right!

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  6. Watched this long back. We should be grateful to have dogs in our life.

    But people here aren't letting me adopt one :(

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    1. Same here :(

      We don't deserve dogs I tell you.

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  7. I can't believe I haven't seen the movie yet. Must watch it soon. The only bad part is that dog movies make me cry. The kids love them as well.

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