A couple of Sundays ago for some unknown reason the film Doghouse popped into my head, I hadn’t see it for a while so decided to give it a watch. After posting on Twitter what I was watching someone suggested Severance another British horror starring Danny Dyer. So I settled down for an afternoon of Danny Dyer being hunted by zombies and trained militia, although he plays pretty much the same sort of character in all his films I still find him fun to watch and he’s in starred a few decent films as well.
Director – Jake West
Writer – Dan Schaffer
Stars – Danny Dyer, Noel Clarke, Lee Ingleby, Keith-Lee Castle, Christina Cole, Terry Stone, Neil Maskell, Emily Booth and Stephen Graham.
Budget – £4 million estimated
Run Time – 89 minutes
Tagline – On The Piss, On The Pull, On The Menu
Doghouse has a great cast Danny Dyer, Noel Clarke and Stephen Graham take the main leads in this film. Stephen Graham’s character Vince is struggling to get over his divorce so his friends led by Danny Dyer’s Neil decide to help him out. Starting off in a pub with Neil being a complete dick their adventure begins with a few drinks before their driver picks them up. Their destination is a small town in the middle of nowhere where Mikey’s (Noel Clarke)Nan lives. In this mystical place the women supposedly outnumber the men hugely, I’m not sure why they think this is a good idea as there’s one pub and the village is mostly made up of old women.
Once in the village the guys notice how quiet things are in fact it’s just downright creepy the lack of anything at all. Soon things turn to complete crap when the inhabitants of the place start trying to eat them. The lads get split up and dive for cover wherever they can find, they have to improvise weapons to fend of the flesh hungry zombies of the town.
They end up meeting an army officer who tag along with them, eventually they discover exactly what is going on in the village but is it too late for them to escape with their lives? The zombies are mutating and getting stronger and smarter, as you’d expect in a film like this there’s some crazy kills and some comedy that sometimes misses the mark. The lads fight back the zombies and try to escape from the village.
- Some cool kills.
- Solid acting.
- Decent story for a horror comedy, nothing ground breaking but something I’ve not really seen before.
- Effects were absolutely spot on.
- The variation in the zombies was great, witches, old women, gothy teenage zombies writhing around on each other, a immensely overweight zombie who almost has her was with Danny Dyers character.
- The zombies get a bit smarter and although they seem to only attack if you look like a male they get more threatening as the film progresses.
- There’s a scene when a late comer to the getaway arrives and the lads think they can make their escape however things go wrong massively.
- Some of the comedy misses the mark for me, the overweight zombie stuff I just didn’t find funny. She also dives off a roof at someone and it looks awful it’s a pity as it’s the only effect/action that doesn’t look great.
- There’s some brutal kills in it gore wise but I’d like to have seen a bit more gore and some more creativity in some deaths, that said they’re not all bad.
- Maybe tries a bit too much to give a bigger picture to the reason for the zombies being created.
This film is a decent watch overall with some amusing scenes and solid acting. If like me you like to laze about on a Sunday afternoon and have a bit of a laugh then this is well worth your time.
Overall score – 7/10
Director – Christopher Smith
Writers – James Moran and Christopher Smith
Stars – Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Cessay, Tim McInnerny, Laura Harris and Danny Dyer
Budget – $5 million estimated
Run Time – 96 minutes
Tagline – Another Bloody Office Outing
The story of Severance is a simple one but also a good one a group of office workers head out for a weekend of team building in Eastern Europe. Most of them clearly do not want to be there Danny Dyer’s Steve even resorts to taking drugs on the bus to try and numb the pain of hanging around with this lot. Tim McInnerny plays the boss and he’s a dithering idiot and it’s amazing he’s made his way to a position of power in this company.
On their way to the place they’ve booked to stay in they find the road is blocked, the manager tries to convince everyone their best option is to head down a smaller road which will get them there in the end. The non-English speaking driver is having none of it and refuses to go down the road for some reason (a reason that’ll become painfully clear to the group). They walk the rest of the way and arrive at their so called lodge. It’s dirty and there’s no one there at all, still they settle down and get ready for some team building the next day.
Here’s where things really step up, there’s a few strange moments inside the lodge, they notice some strange platforms in the trees and find a pie just hanging about in the dirty kitchen. Then slowly but surely things turn to crap, one of the idiot office workers ends up getting caught in a bear trap severing his leg. This is only the start as it turns out there’s some highly trained crazy militia that fancy killing the office workers for coming into their place.
The film takes off from here with some nasty kills and tense chase scenes. We also get the opening scene of two hookers in a hole sorted out. It’s left to Steve (Danny Dyer) and Maggie (Laura Harris) as the main characters to attempt to fight their way out past a small arms of trained and heavily armed men who appear to have no problem hacking people to death.
- The set up, I mean yeah it was clear that they were in deep shite after taking that road at the beginning but isn’t that the case with most horror films?
- Great cast, the acting was at the very least solid. Danny Dyer plays a role similar to all the others he does, Laura Harris is good, Andy Nyman as the annoying brown nose Gordon is probably the best actor in this.
- Some nasty kills.
- Tense chase scenes with some good fighting.
- Great atmosphere to the film, the strange walk ways in the trees and the state of the lodge should have given away the fact they were either in the wrong place or in trouble but it created a good place for the carnage to happen.
- How does a druggie office worker and an American woman take on a group of armed and trained killers?
- Could have used a bit more humour, sure there were some funny lines here and there but it could have done with more.
- I’d have liked a couple more fodder for kills.
This film is worth your time and although it should have had more humour it more than succeeded in several areas and made for a very good viewing. It was a great film to watch after the gory comedy of Doghouse and they make a good pairing.
Overall Score – 7.5/10
3 thoughts on “Doghouse (2009) and Severance (2006) Reviews”
Both great films. Doghouse has actually morphed into a top 5 horror flic for me over the years, I watch it often. A few editing issues near the end (I think they were keen on cutting some running time), but I love the film. I even have the movie poster hanging in my garage, and I’ve been using the sports themed ring tone on my iPhone for a few years now. Great review!
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Thanks! I think it’s a bit like Dog Soldiers for me in that I’ll be break it out to watch every couple of years from now on
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I save it for a Saturday night when the rest of the family is out, then my HT set up gets a proper work out. Cheers!
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