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The Breed (2006)

DVD Cover (First Look Home Entertainment)
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4.6
 / 10
8 votes
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Natural Horror, Creatures: Dogs
Director:
Nicholas Mastandrea Nicholas Mastandrea
Starring:
Michelle Rodriguez Michelle Rodriguez
Oliver Hudson Oliver Hudson
Taryn Manning Taryn Manning
Eric Lively Eric Lively
Hill Harper Hill Harper
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Review by Chad
Added: May 25, 2007
There was a time when the "natural horror" subgenre was huge, and I think that it goes without saying that this was a result of the massive success of a certain shark movie. Every animal that one could think of was exploited in one movie or another: we had killer dogs, cats, snakes, wolves, fish, birds, spiders, and yes, even caterpillars (gotta love those Asian knock-offs). Sadly, this genre seems to have dried up in recent years, as the best one can hope for is a cheap Sci-Fi premiere about rabid, mutated, bioengineered, robotic dogs from hell. Whatever happened to the tried and true "animals go nuts, animals kill people, roll camera" scripts that we came to know and love? Well, for the most part, we finally get another worthy natural horror entry with The Breed.

The storyline is extremely simple, and it centers around five people - brothers John (Oliver Hudson) and Matt (Eric Lively), tomboy Nicki (Michelle Rodriguez), party-girl Sara (Taryn Manning), and the token comedic-relief black guy Noah (Hill Harper) - who head to a remote island for a weekend of boozing and partying. After settling down in the cabin that is conveniently owned by the brothers, these kids settle in and the alcohol starts flowing, but it doesn't take long before they realize that the island is home to a pack of vicious dogs... a large pack of vicious dogs. These dogs want to make a meal out of these young adults, the partiers want to get off the island, and we have ourselves a movie.

It's a very straightforward affair and there aren't a whole lot of surprises springing up along the way, but this is the sort of thing that I think is missing from the natural horror genre these days. We (or at least, I) don't want long, drawn-out explanations regarding the odd behavior of these animals, nor do we want an in-your-face piece of commentary about animal rights and medical testing: we simply want to see animals versus humans for about ninety minutes with some good action and tense moments along the way. Although The Breed does have a few minor flaws, it delivers this in spades.

The main flaw that I found with it is the predictability of certain scenes and events as well as some extremely clichéd moments. Foreshadowing events in a movie is always a good idea; if, for example, one of your lead characters is an expert marksman, you'll want to build on this fact before he has to shoot the lock off a door from five hundred feet away. That sort of thing is done here, but it's so blatantly obvious that you'll know right from the beginning who will be doing what along the way, and the result is a lot of scenes that are extremely predictable in addition to a number of scenes in which the home audience has figured out what the characters are going to do before they themselves figure it out.

I also wasn't too thrilled with the ending of the film. You see, in a movie like this, you have to have either a happy ending (some of the people get off the island alive) or a downer ending (the dogs kill everyone). I won't spoil which happens and I won't elaborate enough to give it away, but let's just say that the filmmakers tried to do both, and the result is an ending which is so clichéd that viewers will see it coming a mile away and still roll their eyes when it actually plays out.

I realize that I called this a worthy natural horror entry, but thus far, I haven't given it much praise. This is because - for all its flaws - The Breed is actually an entertaining movie. Sure, it won't win any awards and I won't be adding it to my yearly top ten list, but if you're in the market for a nature gone amok story combined with some truly tense moments and some damned good action, you'll definitely find that this film delivers that. With a little bit of polishing and a few rewrites, this could have been a classic film; however, as it stands, it's an entertaining - but average - film. 6/10.
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George Snow #1: George Snow - added 10/23/2008, 01:28 AM
I rented Jack and Jill vrs the World and found Taryn Manning to be extremely attractive and a good actress. So, I rented Banshee with her and enjoyed that. Then I rented this to see her. She was ah, the movie was eh. I'll stick with Cujo.

Today I rented a movie she wasn't in. Though I didn't know, she's a singer too. Not a bad voice. I just haven't found any good songs she's sung.
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