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Dog Soldiers(2002)

Rating out of 5 possible lobsters :
 

 

Trying to battle the bite of the dog days of winter I picked up a horror movie that by all accounts should have left me howling to my surprise Dog Soldiers is the best horror movie I have seen in years.

Much like the back of the box promised Dog Soldiers takes the best that The Thing, Predator, and Evil Dead have to offer and put a relatively new twist on familiar grounds. That having been said it marks new territory in straight to video horror movies.

It has the classic horror movie opening sequence with 2 young lovers camping out in the woods only to be killed Doggie Style (awful I know). The story involves a small squad of soldiers being dropped off in a secluded area of the Scotland Highlands which for a horror movie lends itself to some colorful back drops and lush scenery. For a group of highly trained soldiers they didnt earn there merit badge in stealth tactics. They whistle together like an Orchestra as the march through the woods and carry on loud conversations you wouldnt need a dogs keen senses to hear these guys coming a mile away. That aside the mood and atmosphere is set as the shadows creep and the wind howls through the trees, soldiers start dropping like they are storming Normandy.

High marks are given to the use of black and white visuals used for when the Werewolves are stalking there prey in addition to the Evil Dead\Blair Witch Project moments of people looking over their shoulder as they scream, trip, and fall through the woods as the camera follows them. We never really get a good look at the wolves until the last half of the movie which becomes a tribute to night of the living dead. As for the other special effects of soldiers with their stomachs spilling out and bodys being torn apart. These guys brought new meaning to spilling your guts. The werewolves themselves were menacing when they had to be and caused several moments of jump out of your seat scares.

The movie did suffer from a few horror movie stereotype staples like the ungodly amounts of ammo dumped on these creatures only to let out a couple of yelps and moans. The intelligence of some of the officers also left me scratching my head as they shot off dialogue as they stood in front of a window like bait. Clearly this was the first time they ever saw combat and under the unusual circumstances I will let it slide. One thing that did make up for this is the above average dialogue and timely one liners. The climactic finish to the film caps it off perfectly.

I would recommend buying this DVD over renting it. Not perfect but close to it - it receives 4 lobsters out of 5. A must see for true horror fans!

Henry's Comments

 "Make sure you order up a pizza for this one! All kinds of toppings in Dog Soldiers to get your appetite going!"