Dog Soldiers (2002)
Let’s get October’s first creature feature out of the way with a fun, bloody, exciting trip to the Scottish highlands. Wry humor, impenetrable accents, a true sense of isolation and blood by the gallon help separate Neil Marshall’s (The Descent) Dog Soldiers from legions of other wolfmen tales.
Marshall creates a familiarly tense feeling, brilliantly straddling monster movie and war movie. A military platoon is dropped into an enormous forest for a military exercise. There’s a surprise, bloody skirmish. The remaining soldiers hunker down in an isolated cabin to mend, figure out WTF, and strategize for survival.
This is like any good genre pic where a battalion is trapped behind enemy lines – just as vivid, bloody and intense. Who’s gone soft? Who will risk what to save a buddy? How to outsmart the enemy?
But the enemies this time are giant, hairy, hungry monsters. Woo hoo!
The fantastically realized idea of traitors takes on a little extra something-something, I’ll tell you that right now.
Though the rubber suits – shown fairly minimally and with some flair – do lessen the film’s horrific impact, solid writing, dark humor and a good deal of ripping and tearing energize this blast of a lycanthropic Alamo.