Dog Soldiers (2002)

DVD Cover (First Look Home Entertainment)
Genres: Horror, Werewolf Film
A squad of British soldiers on training in the lonesome Scottish wilderness find a wounded Special Forces captain and the remains of his team. As they encounter zoologist Megan, it turns out that werewolves are active in the region. They have to prepare for some action as the there will be a full moon tonight... --TMDb
Neil Marshall Neil Marshall
Sean Pertwee Sean Pertwee
Kevin McKidd Kevin McKidd
Emma Cleasby Emma Cleasby
Liam Cunningham Liam Cunningham
Thomas Lockyer Thomas Lockyer
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7.1 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: September 02, 2004
The movie starts out with a man and a woman in a tent, about to do a bit of sweet loving with one another. Something breaks into the tent, killing off the woman and (assumedly) offing the man as well. Two weeks previous, and we catch up with Lawrence Cooper (Kevin McKidd), who is in the process of doing some sort of training test to become a special ops agent. He does quite well in the test, up until the point where Captain Richard Ryan (Liam Cunningham) tells him to kill a dog. Cooper refuses to do such, and because of this, Ryan fails him, which forces him to join the basic army and not the special ops as he was hoping to do. Now, we fast-forward to four months after all of this, and we catch up with Cooper alongside his military buddies Phil Witherspoon (Darren Morfitt), Joe Kirkley (Chris Robson) and Bruce Campbell (Thomas Lockyer), all of whom are led by Sergeant Harry Wells (Sean Pertwee). Seems that this group are headed off to the woods for a bit of a training exercise, and it just so happens that they're in the same woods where a good number of killings have been taking place, including the opening camp-massacre. Of course, it doesn't take very long for some werewolves to start popping out and attacking the men, but they're in a bit of luck when Megan (Emma Cleasby) pulls up in a jeep and rescues them. They head out to her house, and try to board themselves in and make it through the night.

This was definitely one of the better werewolf films that I've seen in my time, with a great storyline that keeps throwing surprises out at you. However, those surprises actually make sense in the grand scheme of thing, unlike a fair number of other films that tend to put in such twists in order to get a cheap thrill from the audience. This isn't the type of film where you'll see a character or event at the half-way mark and be able to figure out exactly what will happen in the finale based on it; no sir, most of the bigger events here are some pretty damned good shockers, and again, they make actually sense in the storyline when you see what's going on. I also enjoyed how they paid a nice little homage to the zombie genre by having the characters board themselves up in a house and attempt to keep the werewolves out. That type of event is used very little outside the realm of zombie horror, so it was nice to see it used in a different type of film in the genre. Really, the only gripe I had with this film was the fact that it was made over in the UK and not here. Now, I don't have a problem with the Brits, it's just that the heavy accents and slang terminology used in the movie made it a bit difficult to understand what was being talked about in some scenes, but for the most part, nothing very important was missed out on... just a minor annoyance, is all. Other than that, the acting abilities here are above-average, with Cooper (Kevin McKidd) being the star of the show by far. His line-delivery and expressions are top-notch, and very convincing with the way he did them.

The effects used for the werewolves themselves was a very nice touch to the film. While they retain the standard look that you'd expect a werewolf to have, they did a good job at making them unique to this movie as well. It's a bit difficult to take such a staple type of creature and keep it true to the classics while throwing your own touches onto it without screwing it up, so major applauds to the designers on that. The gore used during the killings was also very nicely done, with large amounts of blood and (literally) guts spilled. There was none of that fake looking grue here, either... no sir, everything looked quite realistic, especially the gut-dropping stuff. Nice touch with how they handled that situation, as well.

Definitely worth a viewing if you're a fan of werewolf films, or just some good old-fashioned horror. With the exception of the very minor accent gripe, there's nothing wrong with the film in any way, and it definitely delivers on all accounts. 9/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 03/31/2006, 12:15 AM
This is the new wave of horror. In Neil Marshall, horror fans have found the next John Carpenter. Dude knows how to make a horror film and make it well. This film is the second best werewolf film ever made, just behind "The Howling'. The creature effects probably made Stan Winston google eyed. 9/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 10/22/2007, 09:14 PM
Wow. This has to be the best werewolf movie I've ever seen. Sad that I didn't get around to watching the movie in its entirety until now, but I'm so glad I did. The boarded up house scene is a great homage to Romero, and extremely suspenseful. I didn't have the slightest idea what was going to happen next throughout this whole movie, which is hard to say about any horror movie at this point. This will never collect any dust on my shelf. 10/10
Crispy #3: Crispy - added 02/10/2008, 02:51 AM
No need to rehash the specifics. What an insanely awesome movie.
Ginose #4: Ginose - added 03/30/2010, 04:09 PM
Greg Follender #5: Greg Follender - added 05/03/2010, 12:40 AM
This was a lot of fun... and in my humble opinion, a far better film then the director's much-lauded later effort, "The Descent".
Simple but effective, and not overly insulting to his audience's intelligence... Mr. Marshall gets high marks for this fun little romp in Lycanthropy!


The look of the werewolves in this film borrow quite heavily from "The Howling"... but if you are going to appropriate, one should always lift from the BEST!
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