Dog Soldiers (DVD, 2009, Limited Edition; Steelbook)

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Surprisingly good for its genre

Feb 18, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Excellent performances, characters, and dialogue, and some truly excting moments.

Cons:Werewolves look a little shoddy,.

The Bottom Line: Ugh, I hate repeating myself. The fact is that this movie, while still having many of the horror movie cliches, still rises above and makes for solid entertainment.


I have a buddy whom I never fail to irritate, because he always recommends movies for me to watch, and I always hate them. I don't know, maybe I'm biased, but he does point me in the direction of some incredibly stupid ones. Have you ever heard of the St. Francesville Experiment? If you haven't, there's a reason for that. So when he recommended Dog Soldiers, I was a little bit hesitant, but I decided to bite the bullet and watch this one, and for once, I was introduced to something by this buddy of mine that I didn't hate. In fact, I rather enjoyed Dog Soldiers.

Dog Soldiers tells the story of a group of British soldiers sent on a routine training mission in Scotland, who find themselves up against a band of werewolves that don't like people treading on their territory apparently. They run into another company, and meet its lone survivor, and so the chase begins.

Does the plot sound familiar? Of course it does. The basic plot is nothing new. However, it's the style and the performances that put this movie a cut above its contenders.
The important thing about the characters in this movie is that they aren't just cardboard cutouts. True, you still have the hardened sergeant, and your basic array of military movie cliches, but the actors do such a fine job of making you believe in, and more importantly, like these characters that you're engrossed. The dialogue also helps. I don't know what it is about British movies, but I almost always love the dialogue in them.

Whenever I watch a horror movie, I like to make a fun game of picking out which characters are there just to be killed. Of the half dozen or so main characters, I could only really point one that was just meant to be dog food. That's not to say that this movie doesn't fall into some of the old reliable cliches, such as the platoon finding themselves holed in a house, deciding whether fight or flight is the best option, and of course we all know in these types of movies that a "routine training exercise" is never routine. However, you get the feeling watching this movie that the filmmakers were in fact aware of the cliches, but decided they were unavoidable. They wanted to take something old and make it new, which they do well.

The werewolves themselves, when seen in full light, which thankfully is very little, are laughable. The special effects are certainly nothing to brag about. However, it was a nice change of pace to see that the werewolves weren't computer generated. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer men in suits to computer graphics any day.

I have to say something about the music in this movie. It fits absolutely perfectly. Its slow when it needs to be slow, and exciting when it needs to be exciting, and when it goes uptempo, it is truly a joy to listen to.

This movie has been accused of moving a little slow in the middle, and it does, but it balances out some of the slowness with some truly amusing moments, and dialogue. Plus, if you're trying to make a serious movie, it can't just be blood and guts all the way through. You do occasionally have to slow down for a little plot. So I'm not going to fault Dog Soldiers for it.

In fact, there is only one major fault I have with it. There was a scene at the end, where something is revealed about one of the main characters which still leaves me scratching my head. I'm not going to give it away, but just be prepared. Maybe I missed something. If I did, I'm sure someone will let me know.

Simply put, if you're looking for a horror movie that's tightly paced, exciting, and a little more intelligent than the rest, then this is the one for you.


Recommend this product? Yes


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