Saturday, October 4, 2014

Horrors of October - Dog Soldiers (#4)

Dog Soldiers (2002)

A squad of British soldiers are sent out to the countryside for a routine training mission, only to find themselves on the run from a pack of werewolves. The breakout feature for cult film director Neil Marshall, DOG SOLDIERS is a very fun and engaging horror-action flick. Marshall has been known and partially mocked for extensively painting his pictures with layers of film influences and allusions, with DOOMSDAY being the prime example. Here, he's clearly calling attention to his love for both THE HOWLING and THE EVIL DEAD, by including the giant lycanthropes and black comedy in the former, and including the lonely cabin centerpiece, fast POV shots and the gory black comedy of the latter. He double-downs on the black comedy here, much to my surprise, which helps keep the proceedings nice and fresh and make us enjoy the band of brothers, all of whom are a bit ticked off that they are missing a big game of footy. The action is pretty exhilarating, the enemies all look terrifying in the cloak of darkness but also cheesily goofy, and the acting is all-around solid. Where it falters greatly however, beside the few times where the camera gets too shaky to comprehend the scope, is in the third act. The final reveals are so obvious and stupid, making no sense whatsoever plus being capped by an eye-rolling remark, and when you think it's finally over, there's an offputting, last minute duel. But I'm just being cheeky there; those transgressions are easily forgivable when you take into account how much you relished the virtues of the movie.


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