Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The Descent (2005, Neil Marshall)

The Descent has a good female cast and the creatures that attack them look cool. However I feel it takes way too long to get going and there were parts where I couldn’t see anything so I didn’t find them to be scary. Oh and the Tubi version was the US one, which contains the lesser ending. The UK one’s ending is more realistic and bleaker, which I prefer instead. Regardless I found this to be merely decent at best and not really deserving of the high reputation it gets from others.

Shauna Macdonald and Natalie Mendoza are the main highlights of the cast, and the creature attacks are pretty effective. I can admire what Neil Marshall was trying to do, even if this just feels as if he redid Dog Soldiers with female actors instead. Also some aspects felt a bit predictable, although that couldn’t be helped, I guess. I will admit that wilderness movies are pretty cool and definitely my kind of thing, and maybe this would benefit from a second viewing.

Top 20 Horror Films of the 2000s Presents: Dog Soldiers (2002)

    10.    Dog Soldiers (2002, Neil Marshall)

In 2002 Neil Marshall burst onto the horror movie scene with Dog Soldiers, a film that is owes its existence to Aliens, Tremors, and a ton of other horror movies. I love that the film references those other movies while also building on its own mythology, in turn becoming a pretty good-maybe even great-werewolf movie. The werewolf sub-genre of horror films has seen many great entries over the last couple of decades, and the original classic The Wolfman cannot be forgotten, either. Dog Soldiers is a brutal, nasty and entertaining werewolf movie, full of humor and gore, anchored by memorable characters-particularly Spoon-and being rather twisty and surprising right until the end. The siege elements work particularly well, bringing together some of the film’s unlikely bedfellows and resulting in some of the movie’s best moments. And of course one cannot forget how the film opens in typical cool and violent werewolf fashion. Never go camping in the woods on a full moon people.

Taking place in the Scottish woodlands, Dog Soldiers is about a group of military men who end up battling an unknown enemy that turns out to be very supernatural. At first operating in disbelief, the men come to realize that they are up against a force that cannot be killed by ordinary bullets. Creatures that are furry, angry, and very hungry. For human blood and flesh, with a nasty bite that results in the surviving victim turning into the monsters themselves. From that point on Dog Soldiers is relentless, never letting up and etching its place in horror movie history as being one of the best direct to video movies ever made. Beware the full moon, and if you closely you can hear the growling and the howls of a beast of the night, hunting your every move. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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