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Dog Soldiers (2002)

Film review: Dog Soldiers (2002), directed by Neil Marshall

Private Cooper (Kevin McKidd) is trying out for special ops, but fails the training when he refuses to put a dog down for no other reason than Captain Ryan (Liam Cunningham) telling him to.

A while later, Cooper is with his team (Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson and Leslie Simpson), headed by Seargent Wells (Sean Pertwee), on a training mission somewhere in the wilderness of the Scottish highlands.

The training soon turns out to be something completely different, when they run into a special ops team – or rather, what’s left of it (Cunningham) – and find themselves alone in the woods trying to fight an enemy they only thought existed in myths and legends. And these ones don’t just walk around in ripped jeans and well-sculpted torsos and turn into mythical creatures at the drop of a hat when there are “vampires” afoot …

Also starring Emma Cleasby as Megan, a woman who comes to their rescue.

The description mentioned this being a comedy, but it wasn’t very funny. There were some humorous bits, but they were few and far between. I guess you could compare it with Severance, because it’s a team lost in the woods trying to survive something hell-bent on killing them – except Severance is darkly hilarious and has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. In fact, there’s enough of the funny to overshadow the gore. This isn’t the same thing, which is what I was hoping for.

Instead, it’s a bunch of soldiers trying to outsmart a pack of werewolves, and it’s more about guns and shooting and being torn apart, and that’s not the sort of film I enjoy. Nicely done werewolf heads, but the bodies just looked like really tall people in wetsuits or something, only the fabric was thinner.

Then again, if you like your werewolf flicks with proper werewolves – who only turn around the full moon, and don’t do too well with silver, and so on – you probably like this too. It’s not bad, it’s cleverly done, even though the joke I was waiting for never showed up – something about putting dogs down, in a sort of “IN YOUR FACE, RYAN!” type way. Which was disappointing.

3 out of 5 silver daggers.


An easily distracted Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on.

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