Dog Soldiers (2002) Review


I’ve wanted to re-watch this film for a while but always end up choosing another one instead, but after including this in a Twitter vote against Z Nation Season One, Feast One and Two and Walking Dead Volume 1 it came out on top. So on a nice reasonably sunny Saturday afternoon I stayed inside to watch werewolves killing people.

“One death stands out as being how you’d want to go out if you were about to be eaten by a werewolf, I’d rank it was one of my favourite death scenes of all time.”

Director: Neil Marshall

Writer: Neil Marshall

Runtime: 105 min

Budget: $2,000,000 (estimated)

Trivia – In the scene where Wells asks Cooper to knock him out, Kevin McKidd (Cooper) throws a stage punch the first time, but misjudges the distance of the second and catches Sean Pertwee (Wells) on the nose. Pertwee didn’t feel the punch however as he really was drunk for that scene.

Trivia – Jason Statham was originally the top runner for playing the part of Cooper, but he had to back down at the last minute to do John Carpenter‘s Ghosts of Mars (2001).


Dodgy secluded house in the woods but no teens drinking and trying to have sex with each other

The film starts as all horror films that feature monsters or killers should start with: a death, a seemingly happy couple on a camping trip are bloodily attacked by a beastie. After this we are taken to a man running from something, then he fights two other men before being captured. Turns out this is an army exercise auditioning him for a role in the special services, however the hero of the film Cooper, (Kevin McKidd took me years to realise he was Tommy in Trainspotting) refuses to carry out an order given by the captain of the special ops unit. This leads to Cooper punching Captain Ryan (Liam Cunningham Ser Davos in Game of Thrones) before Ryan puts him down on the ground and tells him he doesn’t forget and he doesn’t need men like him on his team.

Cooper is then entering the Scottish highland woods on a training exercise with his normal group of army men led by Sgt Harry G Wells (Sean Pertwee shout out to HG Wells) there’s some good banter between the group as they begin their training mission. With one of the group unhappy to be missing the football match of England Vs Germany. They’re told they are up against a special ops unit and make a plan of attack. During their first camping night the Sgt tells a spooky story after which he’s interrupted by a highland cow falling from the sky on landing in the middle of the camp. This isn’t deemed worthy enough to break radio silence and the lads push on.


We only get brief glimpses of the werewolves and some POV shots to start with

Eventually they stumble on a camp site where all the army unit at the camp have been ripped to bits there’s guts and blood everywhere. It’s here that we meet Captain Ryan again who has also been attacked by some sort of animal. It’s not long after that the team are attacked by some big ass creatures but soon manage to run into someone in a 4×4 car who helps them out, they really need help given that the Sgt has had his belly slashed open.

They arrive at the house and the rest of the film focuses on the group defending it from the werewolves who attack, there’s also a couple of twists thrown in there as well. I didn’t see one of them coming but if you know your Werewolf lore than you’ll see the other two twists coming a mile away.


The banter between the group is really well done

The Good

Everything. The interaction between Joe, Spoon, Cooper, the Sgt and the rest of his men is proper British banter. The acting is all good especially from Sean Pertwee, Liam Cunningham and Kevin McKidd who are the main three characters along with Megan (Emma Cleasby) who rescues them in the 4×4. The story makes as much sense as you’d expect and is a solid aspect of the film. It’s gory enough with some severed body parts and plenty of blood as you’d want a werewolf film to be, the transformations are also well done.

The Bad

Not a great deal is bad about this film, you could pick at some of the effects of the werewolves. I didn’t mind most of them but on a few occasions they didn’t quite look right, other than that there’s not much I can pick out.


Taking on a werewolf with a frying pan!

The Brilliant

It’s obvious that nearly everyone will die but how they get to their deaths is great, there’s two that are especially great and one death stands out as being how you’d want to go out if you were about to be eaten by a werewolf, I’d rank it as one of my favourite death scenes of all time.

This film is not only a must watch if you like the werewolf stuff it’s a must watch if you like any sort of horror. It’s a tense build up when they reach the house to when the next werewolf attack will happen, the actors really put over their fear of what’s coming and their worry of what will happen. I’d highly recommend this film to all horror fans, it’s classic British horror at it’s very best.

Overall Score


4 thoughts on “Dog Soldiers (2002) Review

  1. Pingback: One Year Anniversary Awards | AcidBurnsHorrorshow

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