A squad of British soldiers are sent on a training exercise in the Scottish Highlands, where they discover that werewolves are all too real. Carnage ensues.
That’s really all you need to know about Neil Marshall’s Dog Soldiers and while I wouldn’t accuse it of being an exploitation film, it does share that sensibility. The premise is set up very quickly and it’s not long at all before we are right into the action.
The other thing that struck me when re-watching this film was just how closely it channels Night of the Living Dead. The squaddies, stuck in the open and facing a pack of werewolves, are rescued by Megan (Emma Cleasby) a zoologist who has some idea of what is going along. She takes the soldiers, along with the lone survivor of a Special Ops squad (the werewolves have been busy) to a remote farmhouse — the only place they can get to before the beasts come out in force.
And there we have it. A small, and divided, group of people barricaded in a remote building trying to hold off the horrors outside while undermined by their own conflicts.
Dog Soldiers is a superb action-horror film, gripping from beginning to end, and packed with edge of your seat moments. It’s also proof that, for this type of film at least, werewolves are much better monsters than zombies.
Compared to zombies, werewolves are faster, smarter, more vicious and a much more plausible predator. If you want a monster that’s really out to get your heroes, Neil Marshall very effectively demonstrates that werewolves are the way to go.