Great Halloween Movies: ‘Dog Soldiers’
Picture it: A group of soldiers are on a routine military exercise in the wilderness of Scotland. Everything is fine and dandy, until they find a rival group completely slaughtered with only one survivor babbling total nonsense. They soon discover that what committed this gruesome act was not man, but a deadlier foe who is already on their trail.
This foe is a pack of large, deadly, and very hungry werewolves.
Dog SoldiersÂ was written and directed by Neil Marshall, the man responsible for the utter creepfest The DescentÂ and the fun post-apocalyptic movie Doomsday (that movie kicked ass). What makes Dog SoldiersÂ great is that it’s not a standard “werewolf movie”. It’s more like a war/male comradery movie… with werewolves. It’s about soldiers fighting a deadly foe, the main character Cooper overcoming his own issues, and the bad guys getting their just desserts… with werewolves. There are the standard set-ups and payoffs that exist within the genre, but since the movie never takes itself too seriously they totally work. Marshall makes this story a damn good time and a lot of fun for anybody who is a fan of werewolves.
An aspect of this movie that makes it so much fun is the chemistry and dialogue between the different soldiers. They’re funny, endearing, at times annoying, but either way you hate to see them go when some meet their bloody end. It’s these types of fun characterizations that make the movie stand apart from your typical SyFy Original Movie creature features (not that there’s anything wrong with SyFy Original Movies). You’d love to grab a beer with these guys, even if they won’t shut up about football. These enjoyable characters are able to balance the more gruesome parts of the movie, turning it into a perfect fright night flick. You’ll laugh, you’ll cheer, you’ll hide behind a pillow, but no matter what you’ll have a damn good time with Dog Soldiers.
One of the reasons why this movie holds a special place in my heart is because it has a minimum of special effects. The shots are either filmed a certain way to leave a lot to the imagination, or they hide just enough to make you freak out. We do get some pretty sweet views of the werewolves AND the werewolves are not CGI. They’re real people in actual costumes. That means a lot to me, seriously. Marshall uses storytelling as a way to scare and entertain, he doesn’t rely on excessive special effects. The Scotland wilderness is a great setting for the story and makes you reconsider going camping any time soon.
Also, one of the characters is named “Bruce Campbell”. Automatic awesome points are now granted.
WARNING: THIS MOVIE DOES GET AWFUL GORY. LIKE, BLOOD, GUTS, AND GOO. SERIOUSLY, IF THAT BOTHERS YOU DON’T WATCH THIS MOVIE.Â
Not for nothing, ladies, the guys in this movie are cute. Sorry boys, but I’m a girl and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice these things. On top of that, most of them have Scottish accents. Double brownie unicorn kilt points there. For the record, I call dibs on Spoon.
The movie is scary, brutal, funny, frightening, brilliant, and absolutely enjoyable.
Dog SoldiersÂ stars Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, and Liam Cunningham.