When it comes to werewolf movies, I've never been a huge fan, with the exception of An American Werewolf in London which I consider to be a masterpiece. When I first heard about Dog Soldiers, by director Neil Marshall, my interest in it was zero to none, even though I'm a huge fan of Marshall's work (The Descent being one of my all time favorite modern horror movies). Years went by and though I heard inklings in the horror community about how good Dog Soldiers was, I never went out of my way to watch it.
On Friday, I had the opportunity to go to a midnight screening of Dog Soldiers in which Neil Marshall would be in attendance. I figured this was my chance to finally see this movie as well as see one of my favorite directors up close and personal. I can't believe I waited so long to see this movie as it is quite literally one of the best horror/werewolf movies I have ever seen! Everything about this movie was pure perfection and it shows how ambitious and talented a director Neil Marshall is, as this was his first film.
To give you a summary on Dog Soldier, it's about a team of British soldiers who go on a routine practice expedition in the Scottish Highlands. After a weird encounter with an animal carcass during the night, the team heads out in the morning only to come across another military team which has been almost completely decimated with the exception of their Captain. The team, not knowing what is going on, start to see weird animals within the forest that start to attack, are rescued by a zoologist who takes them to an abandoned old farmhouse for shelter. Once inside, all hell breaks loose.
Dog Soldiers is fantastic for many reasons - one being the cast which featured Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Liam Cunningham, and Emma Cleasby - to name a few. The cast worked off of each other brilliantly and it was clear that Marshall knows how to pick the right actors for the right toles. Another aspect of the movie that was great was the humor - I wouldn't go so far as to classify this as a horror comedy but the humor was exceptional and always came at the right moment. The humor wasn't too over the top and it didn't make the movie seem cheesy - it was the perfect amount of comedy.
As for those who love gore, you will leave this movie being satisfied. Marshall does not shy away from the blood and gore and we see everything from heads being ripped off to intestines spilling out of stomachs. As Marshall has stated, "There can never be enough blood." Last but not least, what I absolutely LOVE about Dog Soldiers is the use of practical affects. This is how horror movies should be done because when the werewolves are revealed to us, they are absolutely incredible and look real as hell. As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, I have a ton of respect for An American Werewolf in London and I absolutely love the practical and special affects that were done for this movie. Neil Marshall's werewolves were at that level, and they were incredible and frightening.
Overall, I absolutely loved this movie and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to see it. It's apparent that Marshall knows how to make a horror movie as well as create disturbingly terrifying creatures, which is a good thing since he's thinking about maybe doing a Yeti movie someday (which he totally should). I 120% recommend this movie for all types of horror fans and it's available for rent and purchase on Amazon and iTunes. So what are you waiting for? Go watch it now and let us know what you think!
Dog Soldiers Apocalypse Review
by Shannon McGrew