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Dog Soldiers (2002)
Rated R

Starring: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, and Emma Cleasby

Rating:
***
out of
*****

When a small band of soldiers is dropped into the highlands of Scotland for a routine exercise, they're completely unaware of what they're getting themselves into. After spending one night in the wilderness, they come across the remains of a special operations unit that's literally been torn apart.

They soon find out that the culprit is actually a band of werewolves that end up chasing them into an abandoned farmhouse. Along the way, they meet Megan (Emma Cleasby), a zoologist who's been in the area for some time. Megan and the soldiers attempt to survive the night holed up in the isolated farmhouse while trying to come to grips with the fact that werewolves aren't mythical creatures.

While it's certainly not an original concept, Dog Soldiers has some good things going for it. First, it's a fairly well-written piece of B-movie horror. The characters, while not exactly fleshed out, deliver some interesting dialogue. Second, the special effects are usually pretty good and the amount of gore should please those who revel in that sort of thing. And, third, believe it or not, the acting is much better than the genre standard. Sean Pertwee, who plays Sgt. Wells, is excellent, as is Kevin McKidd, as Pvt. Cooper, who takes command when the Sarge is injured.

Granted, you have to be in the mood for this kind of film as it's clearly the work of someone who loves movies of this type. That's evident from the dialogue's references to The Matrix, Star Trek II and Aliens. If you're not a horror fan, Dog Soldiers isn't the type of movie that's going to convert you. However, if you're looking for an evening's entertainment and a somewhat humorous/somewhat scary movie would suit your taste, Dog Soldiers will definitely whet your appetite. 

Trivia: One of the soldiers in this movie is called Bruce Campbell, a reference to Evil Dead. Bruce Campbell is the actor who portrayed its hero Ash and the film seems to have partially inspired the plot of Dog Soldiers. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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