Dog Soldiers Reviews
But lets not take anything away from this film, its a low budget basic thriller which works beautifully utilizing all the right tricks in the book. The werewolves are kept out of sight for much of the time, lots of shadows and darkness, a good barren wilderness location, tense sweaty and claustrophobic with some good amounts of gore, not overblown.
Marshall really has taken a leaf outta Cameron's book, a leaf? nay...a whole flippin' bush! as previously said the film really is 'Aliens' with werewolves but its so damn fun to watch (and British made) that you have to forgive the blatant concept rip off. The small group of soldiers really work well together and you do care for them as Marshall wisely builds the characters before hand, you know they're all gonna die but never sure which one will remain in tact at the end. Of course everyone is rather cliched and predictable with their dialog and portrayals, Cunningham is the nasty outsider (Burke) who obviously will die but calmly growls and snarls his lines of doom to the rest in the mean time...just asking for it really.
Some brilliant sequences that go from outright horror to dark gallows humour such as Pertwee having his bowels/intestines super glued back inside him after a nasty attack. Things get quite tense towards the end as the lycans get too close for comfort and we start to see more glimpses of the pretty solid effects used. Men in suits of course, they do look original in design but a little like overgrown Alsatians with hairless bodies. Some good mechanical mask work but again they don't actually look overly ferocious or scary to me, I really didn't like the hairless muscular body idea.
The werewolf vision was pretty neat though, not exactly original these days but at the time it was sweet. A simple steadicam with a wide angle and a slightly undercranked film speed gave a decent eerie beast-like POV.
Its gritty dirty bloody basic effortlessly British, has a cool movie poster and you want Cunningham to die right from the very start after he kills that poor doggie. At times it does feel like it could use a bit of Hollywood sheen to really make more of an impact for some sequences and the score seems a tad lackluster. Overall this is a great human vs werewolf flick that really does show what 'Underworld' could of been.
Starring: Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, Emma Cleasby and Liam Cunningham.
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller.
Question: Do you remember the days when you hung out with your friends in the woods with toy guns creating wartime combat scenarios? The plot-line was usually the same but sometimes a friend or two would throw in some super powers they suddenly obtained or a fantastical creature that came out of nowhere. Oh, those were the days!
Okay, did I just lose half of my readers? Yes, ladies, this might not be what you did growing up, but when my older brother would allow it, I would jump right in and play along ready to "kill" the next bad guy. Although I was always bummed I could never make the machine gun noises no matter how hard I tried, I still had a blast pretending I was in the middle of a war or fighting off some creature(s). So, when someone suggested, and I finally watched, Dog Soldiers I was immediately thrown back to my 10 year-old inner child.
Honestly, as I was watching Dog Soldiers I kept thinking the film-maker (Neil Marshall) must have never let go of his childhood imagination. His film is about 5-6 British soldiers on a practice mission who run into werewolves that apparently can't die even when shot multiple times with semi-automatic guns.
As usual I don't want to go into much detail about this film - this is a thriller, of sorts. I will say there is a little overacting, some poorly-written dialogue and some over-the-top plot points; however, I think that was all intentional. So you must have a sense of humor while watching Dog Soldiers. It is definitely a B film that had me howling with laughter at certain scenes, covering my eyes over some of 'blood and guts' violence and rolling my eyes at some of the innuendoes.
Also, if you are unfamiliar with British slang, I suggest you click here - this is something I JUST discovered and it might help translate some of the sayings in this movie. A few of the phrases you might not know: 'Big girl's blouse', 'taking the piss', toffee-nosed'. These are used in Dog Soliders, along with a few others, but I'll let you discover what they mean on your own.
If any ladies stuck around for the rest of the review, I can tell you the lead actor in this, Kevin McKidd, is from Grey's Anatomy. So if you have a thing for Dr. Hunt, you might want to watch Dog Soldiers - just don't tell your boyfriend or husband why, but they would probably be too shocked to ask anyway.
This is the perfect movie for the next level of what young-in's like to do in groups: watch cult-like, horror films (that usually scare their little sisters who still want to be a part of the group). So once you've grown out of the 'play outdoors phase', might I suggest Dog Soldiers. However, this is rated R - so if you are under age, please ask your parents kiddos.
My favorite thing: That I wasn't all that scared watching a horror.
My least favorite thing: Watching some of the gore.
Length: 105 minutes
Review: 5 out of 10
A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness.
Pretty smart action/horror with a low budget that still manages to be highly thrilling. The werewolves are clearly just men in costumes, but that doesn't stop them from being a great representation of the mythical beast and scary to boot. The story is very sharp for a film like this, with the dialogue between the soldiers feeling incredibly natural and the plot unfolding itself exceptionally well. The actors are all very adept at both action sequences and dialogue-heavy banter, and the contrast between the two works very well in the film. The direction is a bit too shaky at times - indicative of the low budget - and the visual look is too grainy, but the film is great fun to watch and one of the most entertaining horrors in recent memory. One of the best werewolf films ever made.
You have some great British Drama Actors here, Liam Cunningham, Kevin McKidd, plus Sean Pertwee etc and the acting throughout wasn?t bad, but the film itself was really poor. The werewolves were embarrassing ? I can?t believe a film of this time, with the evolution of special effects and make up etc have come up with this as a suitable horror.
The storyline isn?t original, it?s pretty much the same as many original werewolf movies, but the soldier part is thrown in as an extra.
A very minotinous film, with little appeal.
- There is no Spoon."
Huge fan of Neil Marshall, I tells ya! "Dog Soldiers" is a low-budget film about a group of British soldiers, having a basic military exercise, in beautiful Scotland. Sounds boring? Well, it ain't. They just weren't told that they're really there as bait for werewolves...
Neil Marshall's first feature film is great fun. It's got scary and thrilling scenes but the only "flaw" that comes in mind is that, Marshall can't decide whether to scare you to death or make you laugh your ass off.
But the film is somewhat brilliant. It actually is one of the few horror films that actually work. Highly recommended!
"My guts are out Coop!
- We'll just put 'em back in then!"