Breed, The (2006)

The Breed (2006)

Play Dead.

When John inherits an isolated house on a island, he and a group of his college friends head there to have a weekend of fun and relaxation. Unfortunately for them they share the island with a compound which has been genetically enhancing dogs to make them into vicious killers. And even more unfortunate is that the dogs have been let loose.

 

Someone please shoot Wes Craven as quickly as possible. Actually that’s being a bit harsh – just break his arm so he isn’t able to write scripts or sign his name to trash like this. The man has pimped his name out to more sub-standard horrors than Lance Henriksen has! Well that’s just being a bit overdramatic but Craven has seen his share of turkeys over the last few years (Cursed, Dracula 2000, The Hills Have Eyes II) so it comes as no surprise to see his name slapped onto another third-rate effort. It’s basically a by-the-numbers take on Night of the Living Dead but with killer dogs instead of lumbering zombies. The question isn’t one of how bad the film is but how many clichés it can churn into dog poop.

Before I start I would like to say that I’m not overly keen on dogs. Actually that would be an understatement. I’m not scared of them but the mere thought of a growling Rotweiler or Alsatian staring me down is enough to make me change my underwear. Forget the myth that dogs are man’s best friend – they are horrible slobbering brutes that shouldn’t be cherished as pets. German Shepherds are the dogs of choice here. And to be fair to the handlers and crew, the dogs look pretty mean most of the time. There are too many scenes of the dogs sitting around looking like they want to play fetch but sinister music plays in the background. I can imagine something like that being in The Simpsons, not a serious horror flick!

As well as just ripping people apart, these dogs also have superior intelligence. So prepare for the odd chuckle when the dogs steal the seaplane (yes you heard that right) or do other riotously laughable things. Silliness apart, the film brings nothing new to the table at all. You get some annoying characters enjoying themselves, squabbling and generally filling out as much time as possible for the opening third. Cue the first dog attack and the characters realising what they’re up against. Then just pepper the rest of the film with some action set pieces, some predictable jumpy moments and a lousy ending where one person stands up against the threat heading towards an explosive finale. I am sure there is some generic horror script out there that has loads of missing words in it and writers come along and insert their own character names and monster-of-choice into the gaps. Lazy writing hampers the film from the get-go with the characters all conveniently bringing something different to the table later in the film. Not sure how to start a car when you’re being chased by killer dogs? Well it’s lucky there’s a mechanic in the group. Or you need to climb across a rope linking two buildings to avoid the dogs down below? Let’s get the climbing champion to do that. Or what about the vet? I’m sure their experience will come in extremely handy when dealing with killer dogs.

When people like Michelle Rodriguez star in films like this you wonder where their madness lies? Someone like Lance Henriksen (not in this film but I’ve already mentioned him already so why not use him again) who is at the twilight of their career and obviously needs the cash I can totally understand. But hot property like Michelle Rodriguez must be contracted to do a big budget flick and then some dreary third rate horror film like this. The rest of the cast will be made up of twenty something actors from hit American shows like Dawson’s Creek and CSI. I hate the ‘perfect world’ of horror where everyone looks buff and hot. Its casts like this that make me root for the monsters and believe me I was cheering the dogs on quite a lot here. When they show more intelligence (and charm) than the human cast, it’s not a good sign.

 

The Breed isn’t the dog’s bollocks. It’s just bollocks.

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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