We are now up against live, hostile targets. So, if Little Red Riding Hood
should show up with a bazooka and a bad attitude, I expect you to chin
Set in the wilds of Scotland, Dog Soldiers sees a team of British soldiers on a
training mission stumble across special ops Captain Ryan and his decimated team.
Unsure of who, or what, killed Ryan’s team, the soldiers are warned that
whatever it was will be back for seconds. A local girl, Megan, picks up the team
after a twilight attack and takes them to an old house in the forest. Which just
happens to be the lair of some very unhappy werewolves.
Dog Soldiers is
the best werewolf movie since a certain American traveled to England and got
bitten by something nasty. Although it had a small budget, all of the actors,
locations, sets and effects work so well you would be hard pressed not to think
it had some serious financial clout. Dog Soldiers ace card is its excellent
script. Intriguing, compulsive, funny and most importantly, realistic, it adds
to the documentary feel that can sometimes be seen in the camerawork.
The werewolves are also effective. Massive in size and strength, these
beasts make a serious adversary, luckily without resorting to too much CGI.
Which is, as a famous wolf himself may once have said, all the better to scare
you with. Dog Soldiers is also relatively violent, with a more than a few
splatters of gore, surprising for a UK 15 rated movie. However much of this can
easily be placed into the ‘cartoon’ violence style.
As our heroes are
trapped in the farmhouse, the claustrophobia sets in with the dark night. The
wolves assault the house with growing ferocity, leaving pockets of tension in
between. This is perhaps the only place where the movie loses its way, as we the
audience, are not fooled into thinking it’s all over. Naturally for this kind of
movie, don’t be expecting to be ‘challenged’ by it, this is pure Saturday night
fun and it never tries to be anything else. Minor quibbles in an overall
- 2020. All rights reserved.
David E. Allen