Throw Back Thursday: “Dog Soldiers”
“Dog Soldiers” (2002)
Written and directed by Neil Marshall
Starring Kevin McKidd and Sean Pertwee
So,… Did you like last Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones”? Pretty epic battle huh? Maybe even more epic than the “Blackwater” episode. What you may not know is that both of those incredible, battle scene driven episodes were directed by one Mr. Neil Marshall. You might recognize his name from other epic action films such as “The Descent” or “Centurion” (both hugely underrated in my opinion).
Once upon a time (way back in 2002) Marshall wrote and directed what many, including myself, consider to be the greatest wherewolf film ever. Done on a meager two million dollar budget, “Dog Soldiers” featured a largely little-known cast, some great action sequences, and hands down the scariest looking lycanthropes ever to visit the screen. Mr. Marshall showcased all of his directorial skills, and the result is one of the better horror/ action films of the early 2000s.
The movie stars Kevin McKidd and Sean Pertwee as members of a Brittish special forces troop, on a “Routine” training mission in Scotland. They discover that another special forces group has been camped nearby, and most of them were killed by an unknown assailant. The only survivor is Capt. Ryan (Liam Cunningham who plays Davos in GOT) who is badly wounded and reluctant to inform the soldiers what exactly happened to his men.
The group are soon attacked by wolf-like creatures who ambush them from the woods. They discover that it was these creatures who killed all of the others and destroyed the camp. After deciding they are in a vulnerable position, they choose to seek shelter until they can get reinforcements in to rescue them and the injured captain.
They find a seemingly abandoned farm house, and the real fun begins as they must fend off the attacking wherewolves and make it until sun up. There are countless, awesome fight scenes, and the story never lags. All of the acting performances are solid especially Kevin McKidd as Private Cooper, in his first foray into an action role (he is also amazing as Lucius Vorenus in HBO’s “Rome” and as Killer #2 in the underrated “Bunraku”). The real star of the film though is Marshall himself, who masterfully created an intense, truly scary horror film on such a miniscule budget.
If you have not seen this movie, you need to… NOW! Pop some popcorn, turn off the lights, and enjoy!