Dog Soldiers

Dog Soldiers

***

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

At once bitter, grim, and remarkably cheerful, this is an everyday story of military folk unexpectedly encountering werewolves whilst on a training exercise in a remote part of the Scottish highlands.

The lively script is packed with realistic squaddie humour, enabling the audience to engage with a number of characters at the outset, though, as is traditional in such tales, the size of the group quickly diminishes. In places the humour overetends itself into knowing little jokes which disrupt the mood of the piece, but by and large it gets away with it, and it does contain the best joke yet at the expense of The Matrix.

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As is to be expected with a small British B-movie budget horror flick, most of the story is guessable very early on, but this isn't necessarily a problem. There's a member of a rival military group found stranded with his men devoured, yet full of secrets he won't give up. There's a biologist who just happens to be in the area, who provides the love interest and perhaps a few other things which our lads didn't bargain on.

Where the film is weakest is, strangely, during the action sequences, when events drag on just a little too long. Some of the action is confusingly shot, so it's hard to tell who's doing what to whom. The monsters, with their awkward poise, are a little bit too silly to be really scary, but tension builds up nevertheless, and they certainly work as an off-camera threat. The film is spooky when it needs to be. The sense of isolation and desperation is real.

Many horror fans will be pleased to note that this film supplies its due amount of blood and gore, though overall it was less grotesque than I expected. It's not nearly so remarkable as some critics have suggested, but it's very easy to like, and can make for an entertaining night out.

Reviewed on: 04 Apr 2009
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Soldiers on training exercise in Scotland meet hungry werewolves.
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Angus Wolfe Murray *1/2

Director: Neil Marshall

Writer: Neil Marshall

Starring: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Liam Cunningham, Emma Cleasby, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson, Leslie Simpson

Year: 2002

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

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