Dog Soldiers Is a Werewolf Film That Doesn’t Bite

We all know the story of the werewolf. On a full moon, one transforms into a giant, wolf-like beast with a desire to hunt and kill its prey. Said person also suffers from a deep melancholy about his condition and laments his fate. And they usually end up dead – be it at their own hands or at the hands of their friends or enemies. This formula drove everything from the classic An American werewolf in London for the Marvel Studios Halloween special Werewolf at night. But it was thrown out the window Neil Marshallhis directorial debut, dog soldiers.

true to his name, dog soldiers In the end, a group of soldiers faces off against a pack of werewolves. Said soldiers are on a training exercise in the forest when they find that the SAS unit they were supposed to engage in a mock battle with has been blown to bits. The sole survivor, Captain Ryan (Liam Cunningham), is in shock and can only hint at what attacked his men. But soon the werewolves attack, forcing the training squad and a civilian named Megan (Emma Cleasby) to hide in a nearby house.


From the beginning dog soldiers‘ Runtime, Marshall isn’t interested in humanizing his beasts. They seem to take a perverse pleasure in killing – tearing apart their prey without hesitation. And unlike most werewolf movies, where the werewolf in question is little more than a rampaging beast, these werewolves possess intelligence. They know how to corner their prey and when to wait for the right opportunity to strike. Bob sharpthe makeup artist behind horror classics like candy man and Hellraiser, have put a lot of work into making the werewolves look as inhuman as possible. The beasts are extremely large, with lean, muscular bodies and ominous golden eyes – enough to strike fear in even the hardest of hearts. But perhaps the most terrifying part comes from the near immortality of werewolves. They shrug off bullets, knives and other mortal wounds: the only way to kill one is with silver weapons or fire.

In fact, a big part of why Marshall did it dog soldiers is that he wanted to avoid the specific tropes that came with a werewolf story. “I didn’t want to do the classic bane of the werewolf story, which is essentially all werewolf movies up to that point,” he said in an interview. “I basically wanted to do Foreigner with werewolves, in which they’re just a cruel enemy and really hard to kill, and who they are as humans is irrelevant.” Marshall kept his word, it was revealed that the soldiers were indeed hiding in the shack heard to the werewolves. Worse, Novice Cooper (Kevin McKidd) stumbles across the basement where the werewolves hang the bodies of their victims on meat hooks.

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Marshall decides to save the more emotional moments for the group of soldiers. Cooper and his comrades Spoon (Darren Morfitt), Joe (Chris Robson), terry (Leslie Simpson) and Bruce (Thomas Lockier) are as close as brothers. They trade jokes and headaches, but when push comes to shove, they’re willing to give their lives for each other. And her commanding officer, Sergeant Harry G. Wells (Sean Pertwee) acts as father to his men. He barks orders that may seem harsh at first, but are designed to keep them alive: stay close together, keep a clean perimeter, and leave when a werewolf attacks him. It’s a testament to the squad’s dedication that they ignore his orders and patch him up.

In contrast, Ryan is a downright monster in more ways than one. When he is first introduced, he tells Cooper to shoot a dog that had accompanied him during basic training – and when Cooper refuses, he does the deed himself. It is also revealed that he hunted down the werewolves and intended to use Wells’ men as bait to capture her. Eventually it turns out that Ryan turns himself into a werewolf and joins the other lycanthropes to attack the soldiers. This leads to a hugely satisfying moment when Cooper engages in a melee with the drained Ryan, blowing his brains out.

Wells, on the other hand, remains classy to the end. He keeps his men’s spirits alive, even as he confesses that he’s afraid he’ll never see his wife again. He also has no patience for Ryan, telling the soldier, “Now just shut up like a good gentleman, you’re scaring my boys.” And as he begins to turn into a werewolf, he tells Cooper to get out and tell others what happened. This leads to one of the best scenes in the film where the werewolves corner Wells and he blows them up by pulling a needle out of a grenade and shattering the pilot light on the stove. When it comes to heroic sacrifices, it’s definitely top notch.

In fact, a major draw of the film is that it’s packed with top-notch action sequences from start to finish. Bullets scatter across the ground as the soldiers shoot at the werewolves. Several explosions happen, including a truck being blown up. And in the most metallic moment, Cooper uses a sword to impale the werewolf Ryan. These scenes are proof that sometimes a simple pitch and good character work is enough to carry a story. And Marshall would take a similar approach in his subsequent work. The descent shows a group of girls fighting a cave full of infernal creatures, apocalypse has medieval knights in a plague-ridden apocalypse and centurion Has Michael Fassbender as a gladiator. Marshall’s penchant for genre-bending action epics has even taken him to television, where he has directed episodes game of Thrones, western worldand the short-lived constantine. However, work on a sequel has encountered several obstacles over the years dog soldiers remains a uniquely compelling entry into the werewolf genre. Dog Soldiers Is a Werewolf Film That Doesn’t Bite

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