When trying to decide on which is the best werewolf movie of all time, we’ve factored in lots of considerations to come to this conclusion.
Although the movies doesn’t illustrate real-life killers, like the Werewolf Killer of Russia, it does fulfill fans and give us our dose of werewolf entertainment.
Our choice for the best werewolf movie of all time is awarded to the 2002 horror, Dog Soldiers. Though there are many movies such as the American Werewolf franchise, The Howling (1981), Silver Bullet (1985), and GingerSnaps (2000), we chose Dog Soldiers as the best werewolf movie of all time and although not everyone will agree, we have outlined some reasons why we chose it.
Dog Soldiers followed a group of soldiers who are dropped in the Scottish Highlands for a routine training exercise, but things take a turn when they discover something far more sinister than a human enemy. The team shift to live rounds and find themselves in the middle of a shoot out with werewolves (dog soldiers) who only have one agenda; to eat.
Upon running into a local, they escape the shoot out and make their way to a house where they barricade themselves in and do everything they can to survive until sunrise whilst still taking risks to form an escape plan.
We won’t spoil the movie and tell you the ending sequence or how it concludes for anyone that hasn’t seen it yet, but suffice to say it’s a fantastic showdown. We chose Dog Soldier as the best werewolf movie of all time for many reasons that we will share now.
#1 Budget & Effects
The first reason we consider Dog Soldier as the best werewolf movie of all time has to do with their budget and visual effects. The movie’s budget was a mere £2.3 million which is nothing compared to other movies of that calibre. For example, An American Werewolf in Paris, which was released 5 years earlier, had a budget of $23 million, more than triple the budget of Dog Soldiers.
If you watch the making of Dog Soldiers, you will see the challenges that were endured by the crew to bring the werewolves to life. There was not a simple piece of CGI added to the werewolves’ appearance and the actors were literally in suits. Their height was a challenge as the werewolves were much taller than the average soldier in the movie. This was accomplished by designing a make-shift stilt that angled the foot like a ballerina to allow the leg of the werewolves to look natural.
Dog Soldiers accomplished a lot with very little money and make an enormous impact with both horror movie and werewolf fans.
#2 Story & Characters
The story of Dog Soldier could be considered as basic, simple, even mundane, but the way it was executed was biblical. A group of soldiers dropped in the Highlands and after an interaction with werewolves, they barricade themselves in a house, not that exciting, but the movie is a non-stop thrill riding of nail-biting encounters and immense action which would struggle to have been executed any better.
If you’ve watched Dog Soldier, you probably have the words ”Searg”, ”Spooney” and ”Coop” burned onto your mind when remembering the masterpiece. If you don’t you should re-watch it.
The characters are so well represented on screen and each character has the perfect amount of story to make you care about each of them and be intrigued by them without becoming strenuous.
One genius decision director and writer Neil Marshall made was to have the highest ranking officers injured first. The psychology behind this is compelling for audiences because it forces the lesser trained soldiers to operate without the help of their superior, putting them in a less than ideal situation where they would typically scramble, but when one of the soldiers takes command, it sets a whole new tone for the movie.
Further more, the pace of the movie is absolutely perfect and can be compared to that of John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween. A quick pop at the intro then a perfectly paced build of suspense before a non-stop sequence of action and climax.
#3 Score and Emotion
We think the current points for Dog Soldiers being the best werewolf movie of all time has justified our choice enough, but one more thing we’d like to add is the score (music) and the emotion that’s brought out of the audience.
In conjunction with the lovable characters, the movie score strengthens everything from the action to the emotion to the audience’s investment in the characters, ultimately being the icing on the cake for this epic werewolf horror movie. Though it’s not created by the likes of Hans Zimmer or John Williams, they managed to do a faultless job on the music for the film.
Though the movie didn’t seem to ever get a very impressive trailer, we’ve found one that shows enough, hides enough, and doesn’t spoil anything for those who haven’t yet seen Dog Soldiers.