16th Oct2020

‘Dog Soldiers’ 4K Remaster Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham, Darren Morfitt | Written and Directed by Neil Marshall

October is here and we’re all looking for films to enjoy for Halloween. With a new cinema re-release and digital release for a 4K restoration of Dog Soldiers, it is easier than ever to make this recommendation for the werewolf movie. This is one of the best, if you can go to the cinema to see it, do so.

When a group of foul-mouthed squaddies are out on training in the middle of nowhere, nobody could have guessed their opponents would turn out to be vicious werewolves. Trapped in a family home and surrounded by the hairy beasts, it’s not long before the group find themselves with a no-win situation they must survive, and even worse they may even miss the England vs Germany game.

Many will know Neil Marshall for The Descent, but for fans of the werewolf genre, he made his mark on them with Dog Soldiers. While An American Werewolf in London may be the very best of werewolf movies (in my opinion of course) Dog Soldiers came out of nowhere to become an instant classic.

One of the things that truly make Dog Soldiers shine is the cast. Very British in selection, we have the likes of Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham and Darren Morfitt, all giving very good performances in the movie. Though it is well worth pointing out that all of the cast work well. Sean Pertwee does steal the show at times, especially with his monologue he gives to scare his fellow squaddies.

Sitting around the campfire telling each other scary stories, it is Pertwee’s character Sgt. Harry Wells who truly makes an impact on his men. Delivered in a way that draws it’s audience in and keeps their attention, it is perfect to set up a jump scare that comes at just the right time. The scare though does not lessen the impact of the story he tells, and many horror fans love that scene for how much of a masterclass it is, not only in acting but also Marshall’s direction.

In terms of what the film aims for though is very much an action movie focusing on characterisation, dark humour, and just the right amounts of gore. There are plenty of behind the scenes stories of the fun that went on too, an interesting one being the way one of McKidd’s punches hit too well on its mark and knocked Pertwee out. It’s arguable though that it makes for a better scene.

If you are looking for a werewolf movie for Halloween, Dog Soldiers should be high on your list. The new 4K release just adds another good reason to rewatch what is a classic of the genre. – its looks phenomenal! A werewolf movie stuck into a cabin in the woods setting, Dog Soldiers is a horror film that deserves to be watched, and for Halloween? What better time to do it.

***** 5/5

Dog Soldiers is being re-released in UK cinemas on 23rd October. The new restoration is available digitally now.
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Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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