Dog Soldiers 2002 Movie Scene A werewolf broke a window on a house and is trying to get in

Dog Soldiers [2002]

Is this really happening? Do we really have another great werewolf movie? I’m happy to confirm that yes, yes we do! Dog Soldiers is a claustrophobic, gory, and just fun werewolf movie with a refreshing plot. This is Neal Marshall’s debut movie and it is fucking good. It propelled him into the championship and soon enough, the premier league with movies like The DescentDoomsday and Centurion. One of the first things you will notice about this movie is the phenomenal sound design. Later in the movie, with the full-blown massacre going on, it’s easy to lose focus on this very important element. 

The second thing is the strong visceral vibe, perfectly synced with the military motive. This raw, uncompromising, and more importantly real approach is the thing that elevated Dog Soldiers from other movies. Things are nasty and they are not afraid to show it. Of course, one of the more crucial elements of any werewolf movie is the beasts themselves. And they look positively terrifying here. And they do not appear just briefly meaning this isn’t one of those movies where everything happens off-camera.

No sir, this is one of those movies where werewolves burst into a well-lit room and start slicing and dicing everybody. Finally, we have humor as the final element that binds the whole thing together. You can count on the amusing and also realistic dialogue to keep the atmosphere intense. And we also shouldn’t forget about the classic soldier jokes and jabs adding to the authenticity of the movie. Since most of the story is taking place either in forests or remote cabins, Dog Soldiers is reminiscent of the first half of the cult classic An American Werewolf in London.

Six British soldiers are left in the Scottish Highlands on a training exercise. They are supposed to outsmart Special Air Service guys, who are guarding a perimeter that our soldier boyz are supposed to breach. For private Cooper, this is also another chance to go against guys who deemed him unworthy to join SAS several weeks earlier. However, when they locate the SAS base, the whole mission changes. There’s no one at the site, only blood, body parts, and a lot of weapons…

After all this praise, it’s time to talk about a couple of things that were not so good. Frantic editing, especially during those nature shots, was a bit confusing. Since this is his first movie, we can let this one slide. Especially since we saw that Neil improved as time went by. However, one of the biggest flaws of this movie is, strangely, originality. This is basically Predator with a werewolf instead of, well, predator. You have the same basic ingredients, army men in the middle of nowhere being chased by a monster much more powerful than all their weapons.

Even the characters are somewhat similar, you have sir Davos Seaworthy AKA Liam Cunningham as Capt. Ryan playing the same role as Dillon AKA Carl Weathers and Megan is actually Anna. However, can you actually make an original movie involving these elements? Predator borrowed from other movies and Dog Soldiers, perhaps inadvertently borrowed from Predator. However, all of them are featuring the same mythical story concept that’s as old as humanity itself.

Instead of focusing on that, we should focus on phenomenal practical effects, without overuse of CGI. The werewolves look frightening and realistic and it’s amazing how brutal and gory some of the scenes are. Dog Soldiers is a true horror movie, very well directed and with an interesting subject. If you fell in love with the whole military exercise gone wrong thingy, perhaps check out an ordinary thriller Basic from 2003. And if you’re looking for another let’s board up and defend against monsters movie Feast is a perfect choice.

Director: Neil Marshall

Writer: Neil Marshall

Cast: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Chris Robson, Craig Conway

Fun Facts: The corpses you can see in the basement of the houses are the same corpses from Event Horizon.


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