Dog Soldiers
Howling. McKidd loses his cool ... briefly
dir-scr Neil Marshall
with Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, Liam Cunningham, Emma Cleasby, Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson, Leslie Simpson, Tina Landini, Craig Conway, Ben Wright, Bryn Walters
release UK 10.May.02
02/UK 1h44

3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
things are gonna get hairy Hmmm, I'm not convinced we needed another werewolf movie, especially after last year's terrific Ginger Snaps, but at least this is a solidly produced British horror film, fresh and funny ... not to mention grisly and quite scary. It's about a group of soldiers (Pertwee plays the commanding officer; McKidd is the natural born leader) on manoeuvres in the Scottish Highlands when they run into a frazzled special services officer (Cunningham) whose team has been reduced to puddles of blood and guts. They then find a zoologist (Cleasby) investigating sightings of werewolves in the area ... and soon they're holed up in an abandoned farmhouse fighting for their lives.

The relentless pace of the film keeps our adrenaline pumping from start to finish, and also helps cover over the ludicrous plot. There are also several very clever nods to fairy tales and other horror films. And a dark streak of sharp humour keeps us chuckling through every scene, although it's usually so gruesome that we feel guilty for laughing! The actors all put everything into their performances, which helps us suspend our considerable disbelief, while writer-director Marshall wisely avoids showing the beasts too clearly--and when we do see them they actually look scary, which is more than can be said for most horror films (bow your head in shame, Jeepers Creepers). Yes, this is a mindless thriller--nothing more or less--but it knows it. And it keeps us thoroughly entertained, squirming in our seats and smiling at the outrageousness of it all.
themes, violence and gore, language cert 15 12.Feb.02

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... "Starts great, gets tense through the middle and has a classic semi-expected ending. Original and has lots of great moments (watch out for a pan!) funny and scary. This film rocks!" --Pinks, Borders UK 1.May.02 six men. full moon. no chance

"Cracking survival horror mixed with dark humour and some guns ... quality." --Richard L-D, Gloucestershire 13.May.02

"Excellent not-to-miss British horror - funny, scary and black." --Darren Maroney, Steeton UK 24.Oct.02

"The best werewolf movie since An American Werewolf in London and Ginger Snaps." --Leanne, England 4.Apr.03

2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall