10 June 2011

Doghouse 2009 - REVIEW

There is a lot of conflict surrounding the differences between zombie films and virus outbreak films. I've seen people get down right pissy about it during conversations. I've also had people ask me what the difference is. Some would argue that the craving of human flesh alone is all that's needed to classify it as a zombie film. To me, a "zombie" film is about reanimated people that hunger for human flesh. A "virus" film is about people who have somehow contracted a virus that causes severe aggression and in turn makes them (in a way) hunger for human flesh. There are some cases where a film actually contains both scenarios (Return of the Living Dead) but for the most part they tend to stick to one or the other. Want my opinion... Zombie film: Night of the Living Dead... Outbreak film: 28 Days Later.

Vince (Stephen Graham) is having a hard time adjusting to the single life. He is a shadow of his former self. In a bid to lift his spirits, Neil (Danny Dyer) rallies the old gang together (who all seem to be in the doghouse with their partners for one reason or another) for a weekend away in Moodley, an isolated country village where the women are said to significantly outnumber the men. The plan is simple: to drink to the point of alcohol poisoning, and chase the local skirt. However, they soon find to their great surprise that the skirt will in fact be chasing them, as Moodley is in the grip of some mysterious plague that only affects females and it’s turned them all into bloodthirsty homicidal maniacs.

I've only seen Dyer in this and one other film and he basically plays the same character in both. But that's not a bad thing I guess. I think he has some issues in his personal life that might push people away from his films but there's really no arguing that he is talented at what he does.
I'm not really familiar with the rest of the cast but they all seemed to fit the roles they were given quite well. My favorite was Matt (Lee Ingleby) the comic book geek guy who could never seem to get that cowlick to stay down. He was funny and engaging and played his role to a tee. As for the rest of the cast, Noel Clark, Emil Marwa, Keith-Lee Castle, and Neil Maskell they all brought their characters to life and made them likeable in a way that is becoming fairly well known for dark British comedies and the horror genre in general. The rules are changing and things aren't always as predictable as they seem.

From what I've gathered, director Jake West is pretty well known for his shorts and low budget horror films. I've read that this was his first big budget film with a big name cast. Going over his resume it's obvious that he was up for the task and his experience showed. First time writer Dan Schaffer delivers a script full of funny one-liners and plenty of sarcasm. Watching this film, I never would've guessed that it was his first. Being that he was able to take a "wild bunch" of guys and turn them into likable characters is a pretty big feat. If he keeps it up, I see him having quite a long career.

Doghouse may not be the epic ZomCom of that of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Shaun of the Dead but it holds it's own IMO. It's full of some great effects and pretty cool kills. Gore hounds will no doubt enjoy it. All in all it's a pretty well rounded film. Don't go into it expecting something technically great, it does have it's inconsistencies but without a doubt, it's entertaining. Dudes: if you want a film that you can sit around with your buddies and watch with pizza and beer, this is definitely one of those. Chicks: if your a feminist of any kind and despise the objectifying of women in horror films, I'd suggest you pick up High Tension or some other female empowerment film because this one is not for you.


  1. Great review! I'm so glad you liked it. I always get nervous when I recommend things I liked to other people. If the internet has taught me nothing else through message boards and such, it's taught me that pretty much EVERYTHING I like sucks.

  2. Thanks Bones!! I kinda like to think I just have a different appreciation of some films than other people. Thanks for the suggestion!!

  3. I guess it really comes down to people's idea of what is and isn't a zombie. What's funny is, the earliest zombie films ("White Zombie" for example) didn't have anything to do with flesh eating. It's kind of funny that people have such strident views on the topic, but they definitely do.

  4. I guess it's just like anything else, people have their own opinions on the subject and no amount of debate is gonna sway them. Makes for good conversation though ;)