Doghouse Review

8 out of 10 Skulls
Written by: jmh314   

Everyone know's that ever since Shaun of the Dead, that was the standard to which horror-comedies were judged.  This year, we saw the release of Zombieland, which again raised the bar for the horror-comedy genre.  If it weren't for Zombieland's release this year, I feel that the film Doghouse would not be flying under the radar as much as it has.  A British horror comedy with a lot of funny moments and some good kills has kept a low profile, some of it because it has only seen release in the UK and some probably because of Zombieland taking the movie community by storm.  But I tell you what, I think Doghouse deserves some careful consideration for the funniest horror movie of 2009 because I thought it was hysterical.  It's a different style of comedy than Zombieland but works very well in the way they intended.

Doghouse tells the story of Vince,who is about to get divorced from his wife.  His friends decide to take him out to to his friend Mikey's mum's house for a weekend away.  According to Mikey, the town has a 4:1 women to men ratio and they can have a weekend full of drinking and lovely ladies.  Unfortunately when they arrive at the town everything seems deserted.  Soon Vince and the guys realize they aren't alone but that all the women have turned blood thristy and will stop at nothing to kill them.  They barricade themselves in different shops in the town and look for weapons and even find assistance in a military officer dispatched to protect the town.  So much for a weekend of drinking and forgetting about Vince's dicorce as all the group must fight off hordes of women that are looking to kill and devour any man in site.

The story itself is pretty simple and nothing out of the ordinary, but it's the execution and banter between characters that is fun.  They are ordinary, every day guys in a fight for their life situation so they use whatever they can as weapons in their fight to stay alive.  From squirt guns, to golf balls, and even remote control cars, they use whatever they can get their hands on to try and survive.  I liked this aspect as they didnt just give the guys a room full of guns or turn them into some sort of over the top Rambo type characters that sometimes occur in horror survival flicks.  They kept them as a group of bumbling fools, confused and scared for their life but must figure out ways to stay alive. 

The acting is what holds things together as the banter is pretty cheeky.  Since it is British, I think some of the jokes may not play off as well on some viewers but I thought there were lots of funny moments.  Stephen Graham plays the main character Vince.  I have only seen Stephen in the film Snatch, but I think he did a good job in this having to play a guy down on his dumps about his divorce who then has to fight and kill flesh hungry women.  Danny Dyer plays Neil in what I think was the best role of the film.  His role is a womanizer who also thinks he's a tough guy.  He really learns a lot from having to kill off women that he would normally love to get his hands on. 

The only thing that I didnt like was the last 15 minutes or so.  Not that it was bad, but it looses it's momentum.  Lots of good stuff occur in the middle but the last 15 minutes see an inspirational "we're gonna get out of here and live our lives as men" speech followed by a nice showing of comradery, but I thought it was much flatter then the middle portion leading up to this. 

Overall, Doghouse is a film that you can make a bucket of popcorn and sit back and enjoy.  There are some really funny moments, some original ideas on fighting the "zombie" women, and some good gore which is never excessive or overused.  Director Jake West really put a good combination of elements together to make this one of the funniest horror comedies in years. 

- Justin Haaksma

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