Dog Soldiers (2002) – Neil Marshall

Cult favorite director Neil Marshall takes on werewolves with his engaging take on them, in the action horror, Dog Soldiers, the next stop on the Monsters in the Movies book from DK Canada.

The cast features Liam Cunningham, Kevin McKidd and Sean Pertwee as the film takes us to the highlands of Scotland, and into the very heart of terror.

A army squad on maneuvers finds themselves in over their head, when they find themselves under assault by a group of werewolves. Taking cover in a remote farmhouse, the squad struggles to survive the night, even as their numbers are whittled down graphically by their opponents.

This is just a fun, tense (but not quite as tense as Marshall’s The Descent) film, with some solid action beats and reveals, and a really cool design for the werewolves, though you only glimpse them from moment to moment, and can only get a real good look at them if your hand is on the freeze frame button of your remote.


It’s a brisk, white knuckle ride that doesn’t let up until the last moment, and I love the chemistry between all the actors, there’s a real sense of camaraderie between them. They’ve served together for awhile, and now are deep in it.

The makeup effects for some of the gore is a lot of fun, and there’s a funny and gut-wrenching moment as a dog starts to chew on an injured man’s spilled intestines. And while the film takes itself seriously it still has a wonderful sense of fun in the dialogue that the cast gets to deliver.

This is one of those movies that has stuck with me, I remember the first time I saw it. It was the second film by Marshall and I already knew he was going to be a director that I was going to be excited to see more from.

The editing in the film is tight and crisp, and there’s a sense of immediacy not only in the story but in the way that it is put together. By grounding the squad in an almost blue-collar realism, you’re more willing to follow them into the incredible, because the film has already established a firm reality under the squad’s and viewer’s feet.

This one is highly recommended if you’re not big on horror, but more on the action side of things. As a comparison, this is more Aliens, than it is Alien, so draw your own conclusions from there.

Monsters in the Movies from DK Books continues to entertain, and if you are looking for something macabre to watch tonight, pick up a copy today, and sink your fangs into it.



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