Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Wow! Who is this Neil Marshall guy, anyway? I'd heard this was good, but it's freakin' fantastic. I think it just replaced American Werewolf in London as my pick for best werewolf movie ever.
The story follows a squad of Scottish soldiers whose routine exercise goes sideways when they find the gory remains of a Special Forces squad who were on a black op gone bad. In no time flat they're on the run from lean, furry shapes that they can barely see. They manage to make it to a farm house, and the siege begins. This may sound like any number of horror movies you're seen before, but trust me: this is a standout, quality flick with a punch all its own.
First of all, Neil Marshall has an amazing ability to make you care about his characters in a short time. As in The Descent, he builds and develops these people all though the story, giving the high-octane climax a much richer feel.
Second of all, also like The Descent, the group of people who are hit with these extraordinary circumstances are extremely capable people. You know when you're watching a horror movie, and the screaming teens are in a car and the monster punches a hole in the roof, and you wish one of them had a knife? Well, these guys do have knives, and they stab the fucker! They're determined, organized and smart. There's no clue or detail given to the audience that the characters don't catch themselves. Having spent much time yelling at the idiots in these movies, I found this supremely satisfying.
Lastly, these werewolves are awesome. The way they're shot is just right -- never more than the glimpse that we need for maximum fright, and their long, lean shape is perfect. (The picture above is a bit misleading, as it's such a clear shot of one. I had to pull that off the net because the movie moved too fast for me to grab a good frame.) No punches are pulled with their monstrous abilities; our heroes may be capable folks, but these critters are faster and stronger and bullets only phase them for a while. But the good guys push like mad for survival, and while they're doing it you just like them more and more.
I can't recommend this one enough. Good dog!