Doghouse


Title: Doghouse
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Starring: Danny Dyer, Noel Clarke, Stephen Graham, Emily Booth
Director: Jake West

One of those films that once you'd heard about knew it was only a matter of time, from the man who gave us the hilarious low budget flick 'Evil Aliens' comes another tale so depraved and sordid you'd think it would be Japanese, if y'know, Danny Dyer wasn't in it. Instead it's gloriously British; a film following in the footsteps of '28 days later' and 'Shaun of the Dead' yet of a different breed once again, happily spoofing the genre and giving rise to plenty of puns at womens expense. It all kicks off with Vince and his messy divorce, down and depressed and so it's up to his mates to cheer him up, dragging him out on a lads weekend to a town in the middle of nowhere, where the women outnumber the men 4:1, but when they arrive they quickly realise somethings wrong, as these women have quite a literal take on a 'bloody' good time...

The zombies - or zombirds as they get dubbed - all have their own personalities (despite never actually speaking) and far from the usual fields of faceless walking dead, here he focusses on only a few who are given roles to portray, albeit simplistic ones; the hairdresser (played by Emily Booth, a gorgeous young woman with a thing for horror whose steadily stealing my heart), lollipop ladies, the slutty girl from the bar, the elderly and so on. Another side effect of using fewer minor cast members is the ability to have detailed and varied costumes, each one superbly crafted; half decent actresses and not just extra's, allowing for them to do a range of stuntwork and other scenes which could otherwise prove difficult. Likewise, they don't particularly feel compelled to stick to the convention of zombies not attacking one another; when foods on the table, they're quite happy to beat one another for him. The result of all this makes it perfect for slapstick comedy purposes, and alright they've slapped a half-assed 'army experiment' tag to it all but given that this is a film about misogyny and lad culture, that hardly becomes a problem.

The puns come thick and fast with a good portion of them making their mark and they waste no time setting the scene, getting down to the dirty inside of 15 minutes. Sadly, much of the violence is rather tame; a lot of blood but little more may leave gorehounds feeling as though its missing something. That he's constrained by a budget does make itself apparent on a few select scenes but for the most part, what he's succeeded in creating is nothing short of what you'd expect from a more mainstream flick. There is a strong sense of trying to avoid the use of CGI in favour of physical effects and the result serves as a good reminder as to why it should serve as a last resort rather than a general purpose answer which it often seems to be treated as these days. In fact, the mainstream seems to be precisely what he's aiming for, but for all the polish and refined elements, and maybe holding back just a little, he's still going to do it his own way. The very concept is one that feels unique - a virus that only affects one gender - and here gets used to great effect. There are an ever growing number of zombie comedies, and whilst doing nothing too groundbreaking, fans of the genre have nothing to lose by adding this one to the list.


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