Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Fourth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series - Movie #8: Dog Soldiers

Omigosh, Dog Soldiers, where have you been all my life?  Why has it taken so long for us to find each other?

Neil Marshall's solid debut (several years before the brilliant The Descent) is about a squad of British soldiers, out in the wild Scottish highlands on a training exercise.  There have been some recent disappearances in the area but they're not too concerned, ribbing each other, telling war stories, bitching about missing the big soccer match ... until they come across the remains of a Special Operations squad that has literally been ripped to shreds.  The soldiers (including Kevin McKidd and Sean Pertwee) are efficient, effective and loyal to their squad, responding as well to the unimaginable situation as they can, putting down their blank-filled training guns, picking up the S.O.'s real guns and retreating to an old farmhouse to make their stand against a pack of gangly, determined and very hungry werewolves.

This is what I've been waiting for all month: a monster movie with characters I liked and could tell apart, and who acted sensibly and realistically, with a couple of jump scares, a little humor, some nice tension builds and gooey red gore, plus lovely Scottish accents and some Highland cattle thrown in for good measure.  It isn't particularly scary although it is plenty violent - lots and lots of bullets are fired, until the soldiers run out of ammunition and then they make do with whatever they have on hand - and the blood and guts are plentiful.  The werewolves themselves are just great.  You don't get to see them very clearly until the last third of the movie; when you do see them, they're all done with practical effects - actors in werewolf suits - with no CGI in sight.

For those of you who are good at math, basically: Aliens - space + Scotland - aliens + werewolves - $$$ = Dog Soldiers.  I love-love-love this movie - so much fun!

Next up: more werewolves with another Ginger Snaps entry

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