Friday, June 20, 2008
Director Neil Marshall made everyone's list of hot new directors with The Descent. A lot of people don't realize that he actually made a little gem of a horror film before that. Dog Soldiers succeeds as the same kind of small cast, small environment element that made The Descent work.
A squad of British soldiers are out on maneuvers in the Scottish highlands when they encounter a camp of slaughtered commandos. What could possibly do such horrible butchering? Oh yeah... it's werewolves. The soldiers are quickly on the run when they find a local woman (Emma Cleasby) who seems a little too quick to help. Everyone retreats to a small house in the woods to try and hold out til morning.
People might be turned off by the low budget. You aren't going to see cool effects or big action sequences, but you will get a throwback to old horror films like Night of the Living Dead. Actors Sean Pertwee, Liam Cunningham, and Kevin McKidd are all solid as the co-leads for the budget. You never get a feeling that Marshall skimped anywhere except on the blood and guts.
So bottom line, either you can handle or embrace low budget horror or you can't. If it is your thing you are gonna love Dog Soldiers. It lacks the nice cinematic eye Marshall would later show, but for 100 mins you get a good time.