When the trailer first came out for this movie I was dead excited, it was a British film with a different slant on a well visited horror genre. It had also received some interesting quotes at it's festival showing, all giving you the impression that it was a good movie.
Then time took over and quotes and reviews dropped it down, then I just never got round to watching it. So when my first copy of the DVD was poor and I stopped watching half way through I was gutted, and had to wait a few days to get a replacement.
The movie is great fun and mixes two genres really well, that of real soldiers mixed up with a bizarre horror premise of Werewolves in Scotland. As they say in the making of, it's a story of Soldiers and Werewolves, not the other way around. So it is that the story starts out looking very realistic and feeling pretty normal, and it's slowly ramped up and pulled slightly sideways scene by scene until it's pretty much madness.
Saying that, the reactions and lines from the characters are all pretty much realistic. There aren't many Hollywood one liners, instead there are quips, swearing and straight denial that you get in real life when people are faced with difficult situations. It all feels like these are real people in a real situation.
The script is excellent for this very fact, but the actors lend a tremendous effort too. Sean Pertwee is a sadly under used talent, and he shows his colours here flying through scenes with the greatest of authority, and he's very well followed through by the rest of the soldier cast who all just seem so natural in their roles. All except for the female of the story who feels very much out of place and awkward, her lines all too unnatural.
The action and editing keeps going, and there are quite a few refreshing moments when traditional horror films would throw something that the characters, but here it doesn't happen. For that it's quite unpredictable and enjoyable. The action just keeps on coming with very few breaks, the Werewolves are unstoppable.
Not only are the unstoppable, they also look great. Big, hairy, scary, there's nothing that looks fake about them and they really do look menacing.
Overall it's a great fun film and the experience on DVD is so much better than so many others I've seen. Plus it's British, quite original, full of movie references and with some great actors.
I have never enjoyed an audio commentary as much as I have with Dog Soldiers. It's hilarious and the guys involved sound like they had such a laugh doing the movie, never mind the commentary.
I've just watched the second audio commentary by the US Producers, and I was surprised again that I've learnt so much more about the movie again. There are so many more hidden references and character\story connections that I'd missed. This truly is the first DVD that I've watched where the audio commentaries are so strong.