This isn’t your typical howl-at-the-moon werewolf movie. This is an army movie with werewolves. At least, that is what director Neil Marshall (the man behind The Descent and Doomsday) set out to do. In this movie lover’s opinion, he more than succeeded. This is a comradery movie about a group of soldiers on military manuevers in the Scottish Highlands. The slodiers find a single survivor from another squad. From him, they learn that their true opponents aren’t men: it’s a pack of bloodthirsty, hungry werewolves. It is a clash of wills between species. Dog Soldiers is a different take on the werewolf genre that pushes the werewolf genre to its bounds but still stays within the mythos.
Dog Soldiers contains the perfect mix of action, horror, and comedy while not sacrificing plot or character development. The comedy sequences serve to highlight the bond these soldiers share. This is a believable group of soldiers, even down to their reactions to the existence of werewolves. It is easily believable that these guys are an actual group of friends, complaining about football and mocking each other. While occassionally the dialogue does get a little annoying, you can’t help but identify and care about the members of the squad.
Plus, there’s a scene where one of the soldiers beats up a werewolf with a frying pan.
Sean Pertwee delivers an amazing performance as Sergeant Wells. You may recognized Pertwee from other movies like The Mutant Chronicles, Doomsday, Seven Days to Live, and Event Horizon. As his complete opposite, Liam Cunningham brings the right level of deceitfulness and cruelty to his role as a fanatical special forces captain. Cunningham had roles in Clash of the Titans, Game of Thrones, and Centurion.
One of the major pluses for this movie is its lack of CGI. Dog Soldiers depends almost exclusively on practical special effects, even to the unique depiction of the werewolves. These were designed to be tall, gangly creatures that do not seem to share much in physical norms with the humans they come from. The gaunt frame of the werewolves actually helps to communicate their hunger and bloodthirst.
There is a fair share of wet gore in the movie: blood, guts, and slime abound. It isn’t in the film as a shock factor. It is more of an accurate depiction of what would happen if mankind had to contend with werewolves.
If you are looking for a movie that has facets of war movies, the supernatural, and yet still have appropriate levels of comedy, check out Dog Soldiers. You won’t be disappointed.
If you do end up enjoying the film, there is good news. After ten plus years of rumors of a sequel, Dog Soldiers II is finally in production as of 2011. Here’s what was posted on Bloody Disgusting (www.bloody-disgusting.com):
Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers is still part part of the horror conversation almost ten years after its’ release, so it makes sense that Dog Soldiers 2 is something of a long awaited project.
While Dog Soldiers 2 is still in pre-production, its producers at Kismet Entertainment have started rolling on the Dog Soldiers: Legacy web series while they get warmed (and to get you warmed up) up for their feature. Today we have the first installment in the web series, Red, along with some stills from the shoot!
The Dog Soldiers: Red trailer” brings back a sense of the unique werewolf style that we have all come to love from the original ‘Dog Soldiers’ film… Based on a modern-day version of “Little Red Riding Hood”, multiple members of Allen’s family took part in the Ryan Lightbourn-directed trailer including his grandmother Pat “Nan” Allen who plays the awaiting grandma and his sister Emmy Allen who portrays “Red”…. Kismet Entertainment is also in the early stages of pre-production for the first sequel to the 2002 cult hit ‘Dog Soldiers’
Check out the trailers and movie clips below.
Dog Soldiers Trailer:
Dog Soldiers Red Trailer
Beating Up a Werewolf with a Frying Pan Clip