Director – Jake West
Cast – Danny Dyer, Noel Clarke, Stephen Graham, Emil Marwa, Lee Ingleby, Keith-Lee Castle, Terry Stone, Christina Cole, Emily Booth, Victoria Hopkins, Deborah Hyde, Nicola Jane Reading
Release Year – 2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I remember being pretty excited when I first read about Doghouse due to its unique storyline that bled “fun cheezy experience” all over it. After giving this sophomore feature effort from Jake West(Evil Aliens) a watch I can say that this flick is just as fun as I expected it to be, consisting of numerous gags, plenty of gore, and a semi-original storyline that gave me everything that I wanted to see.
When a nasty divorce leaves the noble and lovable Vince(Stephen Graham) depressed and in shambles, his buddies, all with female problems of their own, plan a getaway guys-only weekend of boozing and doing what guys do. When they reach their destination, a countryside village named Moodley, they find that their planned weekend of insane antics has turned to terror. The women of the village are suffering from a virus that turns them into man-hating cannibals, and their newest meals have just arrived.
This is one of the few horror experiences that will appeal heavily to men, but also appeal heavily to women as well. Us guys will love the idea of heading out on a booze-filled vacation only to find ourselves bombarded with girls much crazier than anyone we’ve ever dated (possibly), and women will enjoy the idea of having free reign to attack men in grisly fashion. We have seen films before regarding men venturing into a wayward area and being subjected to torture at the hands of the female gender, which was the case in the horrid remake of The Wicker Man(the original gave us the opposite of a matriarchal society), so the idea is not a new one but in the case of Doghouse it is used to full potential. The story is a very simple one that takes just enough time developing and quickly brings us to the carnage that takes place when the guys make it to Moodley, and from then on out the horror reaches supreme levels and never relents. I loved that the women were beastly cannibals and not the high classed self-righteous ones that we normally get in films with dominant women as it not only made for higher levels of horror but the cannibals are just cooler than high-classed chicks, period. Due to the travel bus they rode in being operated by a female, our guys are left with no way out of the village and must fight off the hoard of beastly women, who vastly outnumber them, and find whatever hiding places they can. I loved that this resulted in a nowhere-to-run scenario for them, and due to the women being nearly everywhere they went it also resulted in a nowhere-to-hide scenario as well. First-time writer Dan Schaffer did a great job in pacing the film, throwing in numerous developments and constant location changes (within the village) to keep things fresh and interesting. As an added benefit, the film contains plenty of laughs and comical sequences that only added to my already high level of enjoyment that the overall story provided.
Director Jake West(Evil Aliens) did a great job executing this piece, providing us with all of the necessary elements to make for a cheezy good time, regardless of gender. His usage of the characters was great, especially considering we get a wide array of protagonists ranging from the womanizer, to the gentleman, to the homosexual who fits in among his peers as well as anyone. All of the acting performances are great, and I must commend all of the women, credited and uncredited, who portrayed the cannibals as they did so in awesome and hilarious fashion. The look of the cannibals was great, and West threw in great amounts of gore and live-action carnage delivered by both the guys and the hoard of females, although mostly by the females. West provided awesome atmosphere as well, and used numerous sets to keep up with the constantly moving storyline that forced the guys to take cover in numerous spots around the village. The atmosphere is dark, moody, and very reminiscent of the events taking place, a nice touch that I can always appreciate.
Overall, Doghouse is a great horror/comedy that gives us a unique story that provides for a great time thanks to plenty of laughs and good horror. Able to please both male and female, Doghouse is an effort I recommend to all horror fans, especially those looking for something to watch with a few friends. Let the gender wars begin.