The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

DOG SOLDIERS (2002) **

I was not a fan of director Neil Marshall’s cave monster movie, The Descent, but I do love the shit out of Doomsday. (In a perfect world, that flick would’ve grossed $600 million domestically and would’ve spawned three sequels by now.) I’ve wanted to see his first film, Dog Soldiers for some time now, but just somehow never got around to it. Now that I’ve seen it, I have to say it’s no Doomsday. (Then again, what could be?)

A squad of soldiers goes on a routine training mission in the Scottish Highlands. There, they encounter a pack of bloodthirsty werewolves who want to turn the soldiers into lunchmeat. The surviving soldiers hole up in a woman’s farmhouse and try to fend off the werewolves. But she may be keeping a secret that could jeopardize everyone in the house.

Dog Soldiers is closer to the slow burn type of horror of The Descent than the balls-out awesomeness of Doomsday. I’m not exactly sure why so much praise was heaped upon this movie when it first came out (much like I struggle to see what made The Descent so goddamn special). It has its moments to be sure (one of the soldiers gives a great monologue about one of their tattooed buddies getting blown up), but for the most part, it’s overlong and spotty.

The early scenes of the soldiers battling werewolves are the best. Once they make their stand in the farmhouse, the flick becomes Night of the Living Werewolves, the pacing slows down, and the whole thing kinda grinds to a halt. Some of the gore isn’t bad (there’s a cool head ripping scene), but I can’t say I was a fan of the werewolf make-up. Their heads looked way too big and appeared cumbersome during the action scenes.

Look, I like werewolf movies as much as the next guy, but Dog Soldiers just didn’t do a whole lot for me. I can’t really recommend it, although I couldn’t recommend The Descent either and lots of people love that movie, so what do I know? I still say if you see only one Neil Marshall movie, see Doomsday.

Tags: d, horror, werewolf

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