My apologies for the lack of a movie review yesterday but I had to go out of town for a funeral so I will be doubling up the posts today. Now yesterday, I watched a movie from a collection of IFC zombie movies that my friend gave me, and today is another one from that set. I have to say that IFC can surprise you with some good movies every now and then. Dead Snow was definitely one such movie. Let’s see if today’s movie, Doghouse, is another.
The plot: Vince is lying in bed depressed about his divorce when his friends Neil, Mikey, Graham, Matt, and Patrick (who have their own problems with their significant others) grab him for a “boy’s weekend”. The group have rented a chartered a minibus to take them to a village named Moodley and as they are waiting for the driver, they call their friend Banksy, who was supposed to meet them but is habitually late, and leave a message for him. Banksy, is having his own troubles as he first locks his keys inside his house, then has car trouble as he is driving down the road. When their driver, Ruth, shows up, Neil gives her a tip to let them call her Candy, which she accepts, and they head off. As they are heading to Moodley, Vince gets a call from his ex concerning the divorce papers, and Mikey gets a call from his wife so Neil decides to collect everybody’s phones so they won’t be distracted. When they get to Moodley, the guys are disappointed to find that it is a small town in the middle of nowhere and Candy tells them that she is going to take a nap before heading back to London, with or without them. While Mikey goes to try and get into his Gran’s house, the others head to a nearby pub to get a drink. Matt goes to see if Candy would like a drink but gets distracted looking at the window of a witchcraft shop. At the pub, Vince, Graham, Neil, and Patrick find the place practically deserted, though Neil did see someone puking up black goo in the bathroom. Meanwhile, Mikey finds the hidden key to his Gran’s house but before he can enter, he sees a woman in a wedding dress eating someone’s intestines and when she notices him, she grabs a nearby axe and heads towards him. Back at the pub, the guys leave to go find Matt and notice a hooded woman stumbling about when she is suddenly attacked by a soldier. The soldier punches the woman and is about to stab her when Neil and the others stop him and knock him out. Suddenly, the hooded woman grabs the soldier’s knife and stabs Neil hand, then threatens the other guys before she is knocked unconscious by Mikey. Mikey points out the other approaching women so the guys grab the soldier and head back to the bus, only to find Candy transforming and threatening to attack them. The group manage to get to Mikey’s Gran’s house and hide there and the soldier, Gavin, wakes up and tells them that some sort of virus has infected the women in the village and turned them into homicidal cannibals that only attack men. The guys decide to try and get back on the bus to leave, or at least get the bag with their phones so they can call for help. When they get there, they have Neil lure Candy out of the bus but as Graham tries to start it, two other women appear in the back of the bus. Patrick manages to grab the bag with the phones but is cut off from the others so he climbs up on a bill board, but the woman with the axe manages to cut his leg as he is climbing, then proceeds to try and chop down the billboard. The others are trapped by a bunch of women but Patrick begins hitting golf balls at the women, causing them to fight among themselves, and the guys manage to hide; with Vince and Matt hiding in a toy store while Mikey, Graham, and Gavin hide in a clothing store. Neil manages to lose Candy and avoid a second woman that attacks him but when he hides inside a house, he is taken captive by an overweight woman inside, who proceeds to cut off one of his fingers and eat it. Vince and Matt use a remote control truck to send a walkie talkie over to the others to try and figure out a plan. Graham places a severed head on the back of the truck and then Vince uses it to lure the women away from the stores, allowing Mikey to try and get into one of the Army’s Humvees. When the truck wrecks, the women notice Mikey and chase after him so he hides in a butcher shop, only to be attacked by the butcher. Vince and Matt try to help Mikey, using squirt guns filled with lighter fluid but though they manage to set one woman on fire, Matt’s gun catches fire as well and he drops it, igniting the lighter fluid that had leaked out of the gun and causing the toy store to explode. Mikey makes his way back into the clothing store while Matt and Vince hide in the church. Inside, they discover a military command center had been set up there but all of the people have been killed. They get in touch with the others, who disguise themselves as women in order to sleep past the infected women and head to the church. Meanwhile, Neil manages to escape his bonds and kill the woman that caught him, then avoids the other women as the try to catch him, and rejoins the group in the church, as does Patrick, who was tossed from the billboard when it was chopped down but managed to get away. Inside the church, Matt manages to get the power working and they see a video call from a politician named Meg Nut, who asks about the project “Cathouse” but when Meg realizes that they are not part of the project, she ends the call and sends a signal to destroy the hard drives on the computer. Gavin looks outside and sees that the women are undergoing Phase 2, mutating them into smarter, faster killing machines. He shows the group a device that is supposed to emit a high pitched sound that only women can hear which will incapacitate the infected women when they reach Phase 2. As the women try to break into the church, Gavin presses the device but it doesn’t work and the guys get pissed off at him when suddenly, Gavin is killed by Mikey’s Gran. Matt kills Mikey’s Gran, then wanders off in a state of shock and when Vince goes to check on him, he sees the burnt magic shop owner grabbing Matt and killing him. Vince and the others fight with the owner and manage to kill her, then try and use the entrance that she used to get in and escape, only to find zombies in the tunnels. Making their way back to the church, the group head up tot eh second floor and start climbing out on the roof to find a way out. Banksy shows up and sees the guys up there and they tell him to get a ladder but he uses it to climb up on the roof. When the women try to knock them off the ladder, Banksy and Mikey end up falling on a roof across the street, then quickly pull up the ladder and use it as a bridge to help the others escape. When the overweight woman sees them, she runs into the church and manages to knock Graham off the ladder as he is climbing across, then jumps off the roof on top of him, killing him. The others head for Banksy’s car, only to find that he had rented a smart car, which would not be able to fit all of them. As they argue over what to do, Patrick is killed and Banksy is killed as they try to get back on the bus. Inside the bus, Vince yells at Neil and Mikey on how they treat women like crap and are still alive, while their friends treated women with respect and are now dead. Vowing to be more like them, Vince starts the bus and proceeds to drive straight through the women in their way as they make their way out of town. Back in the town, Graham wakes up and finds himself lying in the women’s nest and finds the walkie talkie and uses it to contact the others. Vince turns the bus around and heads back to rescue Graham, crashing the bus as he enters town. Vince, Neil, and Mikey arm themselves and prepare to fight off the women when suddenly, the women stop in their tracks. Graham appears and says he got the sonar device working and Neil decides to play with it, quickly turning it on and off as he taunts the women. When Neil tosses the device to Vince to let him try it, Vince drops it and the device breaks, freeing the women. Placing Graham in a shopping cart, the 4 guys make a run for it, laughing as they leave town with the women chasing after them.
Doghouse met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that it is, “An amateurish, unfunny and unscary British horror-comedy that could be accused of misogyny.” The town of Moodley was actually an elaborate set created inside an old, abandoned hospital, which the cast and crew lived in during the making of the movie. The movie had a $4 million budget but only cleared a domestic box office of £165,544 when it was released in theaters in the UK.
This was an interesting movie to watch. The acting was ok, with Noel Clarke )who I recognized from playing Mickey Smith in Doctor Who), Danny Dyer, and Stephen Graham doing a good job as Mikey, Neil, and Vince respectively. The story was interesting, though it felt a bit sexist/misogynistic. The idea of using a biological agent to turn a population against itself has been used before in movies but this is one of the first, at least that I have seen, where it was used to literally turn women against men. The special effects were decent, with some scenes definitely being better than others, but that could probably be attributed to the budget more than anything else. A good quasi-zombie movie, but I don’t see it making it out of the cult movie status.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5