British writer/director Neil Marshall, the inventive and baroque horror filmmaker who’d go on to shoot The Descent and Doomsday, made his directing debut with this gruesome shocker. British soldiers are doing drills in the Scottish countryside when they’re attacked by an unexpected menace: a pack of werewolves. The survivors retreat to a farmhouse with a lone woman, zoologist and professed werewolf expert Megan (Emma Cleasby), but the lycanthropes have more than a few surprises in store for them on this full-moon night.
Sean Pertwee is a grizzled vet, while Kevin McKidd (Trainspotting, Grey’s Anatomy) plays the soldier who has the most to prove. They’re the standouts in a group of reasonably well-rounded characters, about whom you’ll come to care before they’re turned into wolf chow. Marshall peppers the film with unusual wit, from references to Evil Dead to that scene with Pertwee and a hungry dog (you’ll know it when you see it) — little touches that help elevate Dog Soldiers above your average werewolf movie.