A platoon of soldiers are attacked by a pack of werewolves
during a routine training exercise in the Scottish Highlands.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
Written and Directed by Neil Marshall
Starring Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby,
Liam Cunningham, Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt,
Chris Robson, Leslie Simpson
If you've ever seen Walter Hill's 1981 action thriller Southern Comfort, then you're gonna love this. It's the same movie, but with werewolves instead of backwoods bayou yokels. Dog Soldiers is a badass horror action flick and one of the few really good werewolf movies I've seen. If you know me at all, then you know I'm an American Werewolf purist. Nothing else I've seen has come close, though Dog Soldiers does come up to the line. Neil Marshall would go on to helm The Descent, so he clearly has an affinity for groups of people who end up trapped in nature while vicious creatures hunt them down.
A squad of soldiers are traversing the Scottish wilderness when they come upon a wounded and terrified Special Ops soldier named Captain Ryan (Cunningham). Ryan starts muttering about his team getting torn apart and how "there was only supposed to be one." Soon, giant wolf-like creatures attack the soldiers, forcing them to hole up in a cabin in the woods alongside a zoologist (Cleasby) who knows more than she's letting on. The film is loaded with gore, one-liners, and fantastic action sequences that have raised the bar for modern werewolf movies.
My only gripe with Dog Soldiers is how it sort of plays fast and loose with the werewolf mythology. Suddenly, explosions and non-silver bullets can harm these monsters, making them substantially less scary. But the creatures' design and Marshall's impeccable direction (especially for a low-budget movie such as this) make up for it in a big way.