The Breed

The Breed


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Monster movies won’t rattle your cage without heavy duty CGI scariness. Attack dogs, as they call those big, growly things that patrol the perimeter fence of incredibly important installations/mansions/warehouses, are as intimidating in Godzilla terms as a policeman with a notebook, which is not the way it is in real life since these creatures are trained to tear your arms off.

The Breed is The Descent on an island (10,000 leagues less thrilling). A group of friends plan a weekend break in the house where they used to spend holidays as kids, or rather brothers John (Oliver Hudson) and Matt (Eric Lively) did, and now that Uncle What’isface has died and the place is empty, they move in for serious margarita sessions and fun fun fun.

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It is so been there, you wait in vain for an original twist. Instead, you get Alsatians. The island may be deserted, but these bow wows are well fed. Perhaps, there’s an 18-30 resort on the other side of the forest where they pick off juicy teen nibbles.

There used to be a laboratory in the woods where attack dogs were experimented on, but it was mysteriously closed down and not all the animals were destroyed. Those that escaped multiplied and are now hunting anything with flesh warmer than carrion.

The whose-going-to-be-next-in-the-doggy-bag scenario is yesterday’s news. Every slasher flick that opened a vein on campus knows the score. The question is, do you care? Are the characters strong enough? Is the dialogue witless, or witmore?

The brothers have a sibling rivalry going on that is not without interest. Nicki (Michelle Rodriguez) and Matt are a unit, which makes sense; she is tomboyish and brave, he is tall, lean and laconic. John has issues about being a loser and, naturally, behaves like a prat. Sara (Taryn Manning) is more of a party chick, all blonde and bouncy, although deep down is insecure and needy – hey, who isn’t? As for Noah (Hill Harper from CSI:NY), he has a problem justifying his ubercampness in this red blooded atmosphere. He must have been invited for his big smile and willingness to go down into the cellar to change the light fuse.

The film is not badly made and some performances – Rodriguez and Lively, especially – are memorable. The dogs try hard to look menacing, but mostly appear as cuddlesome as the killer whale in Free Willy.

WARNING: the last shot in the final scene is a screenwriter’s nightmare. How do you end with a bang? Answer: fake it!

Reviewed on: 25 Apr 2007
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The Breed packshot
Dogs hunt humans on isolated island.
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Director: Nicholas Mastandrea

Writer: Robert Conte, Peter Martin Wortmann

Starring: Michelle Rodriguez, Oliver Hudson, Taryn Manning, Eric Lively, Hill Harper, Nick Boraine, Lisa-Marie Schneider

Year: 2006

Runtime: 87 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Germany/South Africa/US


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