Dog Soldiers (2002) is the directorial debut of British filmmaker Neil Marshall, who would follow this film up with the brilliantly claustrophobic The Descent. As first efforts go, this is a pretty impressive start.
The story follows a group of soldiers who are out in the Scottish Highlands on a routine training exercise. They stumble across a member of a special forces unit that was part of the exercise. He’s been attacked and badly wounded. The team is suddenly attacked by a mysterious group of things. Naturally the guns that the soldiers are carrying are filled with blanks, it is a training exercise. A couple of the team are wounded and they stumble across a female zoologist named Megan (Emma Cleasby). She leads them to what appears to be an abandoned house. It’s quickly established that the attackers are a group of werewolves and the soldiers are in the werewolves’ house. The fight to last the night begins.
The film is reminiscent of The Evil Dead with a group of people fighting in a cabin in the woods but it adds it’s own charm and personality to the proceedings. There’s the memorable putting the intestines back into the body scene for example. It’s quite the fun little film. The trailers for the film do more damage than help promote it though. Choosing between the cheesy, quote filled American trailer or the Artisan video trailer, I had to take the Artisan video trailer, it was less annoying.